Think – Pair – Share Technique

Think-pair-share

Remember that no thinking no learning, I love this technique, you can use it in a plan activity or on the spur of the moment, it develops cognition. First you divide the class in pairs you can use it with:

  • Concepts review
  • Jigsaw reading
  • Brainstorming
  • Quiz reviews
  • Topic development
  • Discussion questions

This technique is divided in three steps:

  1. Think individually
  2. Work in pairs to solve a problem
  3. Share their ideas with the class

Imagine you give a text that students individual have to read, after reading you formulate a question, it has to be a “fat question“. You also give students time to formulate an idea.

Next students work in pairs, we are fostering the ability to consider other points of view and students discuss their ideas as the teacher circulate and listen to the conversations, we can perform formative assessment.

Finally students share their own ideas with the class with the teacher guide, at this point we perform other assessment and fix misunderstanding but take into account creativity, some answers aren’t right, but there are awesome.

 

 

English Profile

The English Profile is global research program developed by University of Cambridge, British Council and other important institutions. Their main aim is to help teachers and educational institutions to understand what is the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).

It helps teachers to know what vocabulary, grammar, structure we need to introduce in order to achieve our students goals. In my case, I teach year six and in May they will take KET and PET exam. According to the CEFR, KET exam is a A2 so I can go to englishprofile.org and check what I need to teach, the same it will happen with PET that is B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference.

English grammar profile generate a excel file with all the contents that students need:

KET exam A2English Grammar Profile A2

PET exam B1English Grammar Profile B1

In the English Grammar Profile A2 there are A1 and A2 and in the English Grammar Profile B1 only the B1, bear in mind that students need their prior knowledge to reach the last stage.

Also there is an English Vocabulary Profile, you need to free login and you can check the vocabulary grade according to the CEFR.

Bank of activities

As teacher we use to develop our own material but have you ever thought about sharing? Here is the place, let’s share our work!

 

Activity

 

Educational purpose
Find someone who…

Learners use a checklist as they walk around the classroom trying to find a person who has a certain characteristic. When they find someone with those characteristics, they write that person’s name on their checklist and move on to the next person. The goal is to meet and talk to as many people as possible within the time limit in order to put one name by each of the characteristics.

 

(S.O.)

Ice breaker for the beginning of the course for helping students become comfortable with their new classmates

To foster communication

Find the English mistakes in the sentences on the board

 

To identify mistakes (grammar, word choice,
Rank words / sentences in order

Learners put a list of words/sentences in an order

To order, classify, compare
Look at the objects and decide how they relate to someone’s life (F.O.)To develop cognitive skills

Guessing, hypothesising

Ask the right question i.e. students have to get their partner to say the word on their paper without saying the word

 

To foster communication, to review previous knowledge.

Creative thinking

True / False game in two rows with two chairs at the end

To answer, sts run to the “True” or “False” chair.

To review previous knowledge

To form correct sentences

Jigsaw reading To foster communication (introduce speaking into a reading lesson)
Mark the stress of words with a box, beating the stress with your hands, humming To improve word stress
Role plays incorporating target language (S.O.) To develop creativity
Dance around room. When the music stops say something you have learned this week and explain its meaning

 

To reflect.

To take a quick energy break (brain breaks).

 

Story about someone’s life to practise two problem sounds To improve pronunciation
Mushrooming groups e.g. for a debate. Start off with two students, them form a group of four and then eight etc.

 

To reflect

To foster communication

Jigsaw listening

Learners hear different parts of a text, then exchange information with others in order to complete a task

 

To integrate listening and speaking skills

To encourage collaborative learning

Silently mouth the pronunciation of sounds to show how they are made and then students hold up cards when the hear the correct sound

 

To identify sounds mimed by the teacher
Dance to music and then elicit a word or phrase when the music stops

 

To have students come up with a word on their own

 

Self-correct homework using symbols

Teacher shows the learners where the mistakes are and what kind they are, and they try to correct them

To optimise learning opportunities from mistakes learners make in written tasks
Order words on a timeline To display information in visual form

To help students understand the chronology of historic events

 

 

Walk around the room and find someone with a matching answer to you or fill in the missing preposition and ask the question and get an answer. Then change partners

To work on prepositions

To make questions

Appoint a leader and timekeeper for group work and agree on the rules for an effective group before students begin To improve the effectiveness of collaborative group work

 

Art of questioning

Questions

Questions are powerful tools that develop understanding or other high-order skills. Questions help students to think for themselves and to create their own learning, to practise using their prior knowledge and to develp new understanding. On the other hand, teachers have the opportunity to check immediately and correct. Questions also help us to get feedback on the learning progress and ensure that students don’t get lost.

We are going to distinguish skinny & fat questions and introduce comprehension-checking questions:

  • Skinny questions: these questions only require that students recall facts, they are used to reinforce early learning, what the students can or cannot remember.

In the lesson plan “The little paper boat” if we ask:

T – What were Peter & Jack playing at the park?

S – They were playing football.

  • Fat questions: let students practise the high-order thinking skills, in order to answer them, students need the ability to sift through the memory and choose only the relevant information.

T- If you find a magic little paper boat, where will you go?

S- I will travel to the epic Monkey Island.

Finally comprehension checking questions (CCQ), they are really useful after instructions, have you ever used “Do you understand?” and everyone said “Yes, we do” but students don’t have any clue of what’s going on…

Imagine that you want students to read a text, look for five answer, and finally to check their answers with their groups. First you introduce the task and modelling an example, now it is time to start but before …CCQ!

T – Do we have to read the text?

S – Yes, we do.

T – Do we have to answer the five questions with our partners?

S – No, we don’t.

T – Do we have to answer the five questions by yourself?

S – Yes, we do.

T – Do we have to check the answer with our partners?

S – Yes, we do.

T- Ok, any questions? So, let’s go!

Bloom’s taxonomy

Bloom.png

Benjamin Bloom (1956) divided learning into tasks or skills, which he called ”taxonomy”. At the bottom the skills are relatively undemanding and they get more difficult, more connected and more useful towards the top.

He divided these six categories in “high order thinking skills” (H.O.T.S) and “low order thinking skills” (L.O.T.S). These skills are connected, only when you are completely proficient in one skill you can move to the next one.

  • Low order thinking skills (L.O.T.S)
    • Knowledge is the ability to recall something
    • Comprehension means you understand the knowledge, you can explain in terms of your existing learning and experience
    • Application means doing after being shown how
  • High order thinking skills (H.O.T.S)
    • Analysing is breaking a complex whole into parts, and then looking at the parts in some detail
      • You can divide the whole into logical parts and then consider each part separately or;
      • Looking at the whole, but only from a specific point of view
    • Evaluating is making a judgement about an activity. Evaluation includes learners evaluating their own work while doing it, or after completing it
    • Creating is using all the previous skills, the final process