Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tuesday Teaching Strategy: Team-Pair-Solo

Not that I will completely move away from Educational Technology on this blog, I do want to start including some of what I am doing now as a Curriculum Coordinator to it.  One way I hope to do that is to provide a weekly Teaching Strategy that I think can be implemented across the curriculum and throughout all grade levels...at least I hope to do that the majority of the time.  

To start this off, I will start off with a fairly common one that some people might have heard of.  It is probably a strategy that several teachers are doing in their classrooms but were not aware that it had an official title or name.


Most of us have heard of “Think-Pair-Share” and have probably used it in our classrooms.  Have you ever thought about doing it in reverse?

“Team-Pair-Solo” is intended to help students learn problem-solving skills.  Working first in teams or in whole class, students will work on an area of content in your lesson (In math it might mean working on a single problem).  During this time students are discussing work and solution strategies, and helping others when they struggle.

After completion of the team/whole class section, students will be divided into pairs where they will continue to work on the area of content, or work on a new area of content that continues the progression within the content area.  Here it will be important to continue the pattern of discussion and mutual assistance.

Finally, applying the understanding and confidence acquired from the first two steps, each student works alone to complete a final aspect of the lesson.  By the time students work independently they should be able to assess for themselves how well they have mastered the new skill or concept.  During this final stage it will be important for the teacher to continue to monitor and check student progress.

In conclusion, students work on a small (1-3 problems/questions/prompts) section of your content to introduce them to what they should understand, then split into pairs providing further opportunities to expand their understanding, before finally working independently to complete their understanding.

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