Classroom tools to help your students with learning disabilities


on March 2, 2013



Think-Pair-Share is a strategy where teachers present students with a problem or question that they independently think about and then discuss with a partner or small group before finally presenting their thoughts and answers to the whole class.

Why use Think-Pair-Share?

  • Easy preparation
  • Personal interaction motivates students who might not otherwise be motivated to participate
  • Various levels of questions/ problems can be presented
  • It actively engages the entire class
  • Allows teachers to assess student understanding by listening in on several groups during, and the discussion after
  • Full class discussion is better after the think-pair-sh are
  • Thinking time results in higher quality responses
  • By discussing new ideas, students are deepening their understanding of the idea
  • Students are more willing to participate because there is less peer pressure when talking to a partner or small group than to the whole class
  • No specific materials needed

Steps for using Think-Pair-Share

  1. Pose a question or problem to students
  2. Give students time to THINK independently about the question or problem
  3. Ask students to PAIR up with another student, or in small groups to discuss the question or problem
  4. Have groups or partners SHARE what they came up with in a whole-class discussion


Student engagement is the biggest challenge of the Think-Pair-Share technique. Some ways a teacher can hold students responsible for their participation and increase engagement is to have a product that students complete and turn in, give students a grade for participation, let students know that each group will be called on to respond, or use questions or problems that students will see on tests.

Hints for Success!

  • Assign partners rather than allowing students to pick partners
  • Change partners so that students are not always working with the same people
  • Be sure to provide adequate think time for students to form their thoughts before pairing up
  • Monitor student discussions to make sure they are discussing the topic
  • Randomly select students during sharing so that students don’t know who is or is not going to be called on. This encourages them all to be prepared to share.

When to use Think-Pair-Share in Math

  • Think-Pair-Share can be used for all strands of math
  • Use it to help students read and understand a problem
  • Use to help in the problem solving process
  • Use it to activate prior knowledge, understand a problem, or consolidate learning
  • Practicing how to read larger numbers
  • Learning to round numbers to various places
  • Reviewing place value
  • Solving word problems
  • Recalling basic geometric terms
  • Discuss the steps of addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division
  • Discussing how to rename a fraction to lowest terms

What it lookes like


Think Literacy: Cross-Curriculum Approaches


Instructional Strategies Online

Learning is Growing


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