No More “Think, Pair Share”!
Thoughtful teachers don’t ask students to “Think Pair Share”!
OK, that’s a little bit of an exaggeration, but stay with me on this one. I really do believe that there’s a very good reason for not asking students to “Think, Pair, Share” and I’ve got a more powerful alternative for you.
A while back I wrote a blog titled “Don’t Say Think!” In it I talk about how the word “Think” is a vague term, one that lacks clarity and precision and how students are likely to engage in many different forms of “Thinking” when directed to simply “think” It’s a term that encompasses many other, more specific, terms. And it’s these terms I believe we should be using when we ask students to “Think, Pair Share”
So for example, we might ask students to:
- Summarize, pair share
- Question, pair, share
- Evaluate, pair, share
- Solve, pair, share
- Generate an opinion, pair share
- Paraphrase, pair, share
- Predict, pair share
I imagine you get my point. When we ask students to simply “think”, we are being vague. By focusing our instructions and changing the word “Think” to a more specific, more teachable, term we help direct students towards more productive “thinking”.
Does this mean you really shouldn’t ask students to do a “Think Pair Share”? Of course not. Just remember that it’s a vague tool, so when you are directing students to “Think, Pair Share” you should also include a discussion about the type of thinking that is required.
What are some of the other “thinking” tools that include the word “think” that we might be more alert to?
Thanks James. I am going to try this. I think it is an excellent way of doing think pair share.