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If you have taught for any length of time, you have probably already heard of or used Think-Pair-Share in your teaching. This strategy is used consistently among professional development presenters because it involves using your metacognitive thinking skills. Instead of being a passive listener in a direct instruction lecture, this strategy involves the learner and activates their relevance factor in their brain. At some point in the Think-Pair-Share, they will eventually ask themselves how they can incorporate what they are learning and make it relevant to their daily life.

Here's how it works: The learning facilitator (or more traditionally teacher or instructor) activities the thinking process by asking a specific question about the topic. They stop and allow the listener to assess the question and begin compiling their own thoughts (THINK) on the question. The facilitator can then re-state the question differently to activate more thoughts. Next, the learner is asked to partner (PAIR) with their neighbor and discuss their thoughts on the question conversing one-on-one with each other to discover different considerations on the question set forth. Finally, partners will SHARE their assumptions, considerations and thoughts on the question with the remainder of the group.

This process can last 2-15 minutes depending on the depth of the question. Learners are in this way encouraged to learn from each other and incorporate their metacognitive style. This strategy was developed by Frank Lyman, Maryland, 1981.

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