The Think/Pair/Share strategy is a great strategy to use for differentiation because it provides time and structure for thinking on a given topic. This strategy can be used for a wide variety of classroom activities, such as: brainstorming, topic development, discussions/debates, concept reviews, etc.
It's obvious in the classroom when there are the same students always raising their hands to chime in a discussion, while the rest don't bother or are disengaged. This disengagement is usually because most students need more time to think and so they either don't bother or haven't had the chance to process their thoughts by the time the quicker participators have stolen the spotlight . . . yet again! This is where the Think/Pair/Share strategy works really well, because it gives all students a chance to think about it, then discuss it with a partner (so they are heard by at least one other person), and then gives even the 'slower' students a chance to confidently participate in the sharing component with the rest of the class. Timing with this strategy depends on the topic and your class. Give your students ample time to think and discuss with a partner, but not too much that they will be tempted to begin talking about other things. Listening in on the conversations helps determine whether its time to wrap it up or keep it going for longer than intended. Below you will see an example of how I have implemented this strategy in the classroom for Decimals are Everywhere!
Lesson: Decimals are Everywhere!
In this lesson, my aim was to get students thinking about making real life connections with decimals. To implement the Think/Pair/Share strategy I carried out the following steps: 1. First, I explain to students that I want them to think about i.e. where do you see or use decimals in every day life? 2. Then I explain/or refresh students memories about what happens in Think/Pair/Share. They must first think independently about some examples of where they have seen decimals. I usually set a timer on for 'thinking time'. In this example I gave students 1 minute only to think before turning to their partner. (Depending on the topic, I adjust how much time I give students to do this. It's usually best to be flexible in this area to suit your own students and time available.) 3. After thinking time is up, students are instructed to turn to the person sitting next to them to discuss their ideas and examples with each other. In this example, they were given 2 minutes for 'pair' time (I try to not spend too long on pair time to prevent students beginning to chat off topic). 4. Then, students share the everyday examples they thought of with the rest of the class. I write the examples given by the students on the board. 5. At the end, I show any examples I had listed before the lesson and ask students to check if we need to add any of these to our class discussion list. Below is an awesome photo I found on the Internet that would be great for some discussion about the importance of the decimal point that we may see in our day to day lives.
You could extend the lesson (or set a homework task) by instructing students to search for actual photo examples of 'decimals are everywhere' and get them to make a collage of their own (on the computer or paper depending on what resources are available).
You may like some of the Decimal Products available in my TPT Shop to add to your math program:
Click on the covers to be directed to the product for download.
The Decimals Math Mystery: Case of The Disappearing Donuts is also available in Grade 4 and 6 versions covering different decimal skills and level of difficulties.
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I love math tricks and so do my students! They are a great way to get kids thinking about numbers and operations whilst adding a bit of 'magic' to the process. Below is a fantastic math trick you could try with your kids that will get them multiplying, adding, doubling, dividing and subtracting . . . and if done right the answer will always be 15 no matter what number was chosen in step 1!
I like to use these at the start of a math lesson for a quick math mental warm up, or if there are a few precious minutes to spare that need to be filled with something educational. I've included an example of the process underneath the image below. Example: Step 1: I'm thinking 100 Step 2: 100 X 3 = 300 Step 3: 300 + 45 = 345 Step 4: Double 345 = 690 Step 5: 690/6 = 115 Step 6: 115  100 = 15!
Introducing my first Math Quest! A fun activity with three levels of differentiation provided so that you can tailor to your students needs. Watch the video hook trailer below for a sneak peak into how the adventure begins!
Send your students on an epic Math Quest with this exciting pirate story “Redbeard’s Rebellion”. It covers a mix of operations and algebraic thinking, number and coordinates (with mapping skills).
View the fun video hook above! This is an optional extra to go with the story provided within the math quest product. DIFFERENTIATION Three levels of difficulty (EASY, MEDIUM, HARD) provided within this product so that you can differentiate this activity within your classroom. As long as the chapter number is the same, you can swap chapters across difficulty levels to tailor this math quest to best suit your class and/or individual student needs. SKILLS OVERVIEW Skills covered in the activities and puzzles presented throughout this math quest: EASY – Letter/Number single quadrant coordinates and mapping skills; addition; subtraction; multiplying by 2s 5s and 10s; completing equations with addition and subtraction to make a number; comparing numbers; even numbers. MEDIUM – Single positive number quadrant coordinates and mapping skills; addition; subtraction; multiplication; division; complete equations with addition, subtraction and multiplication to make a number; comparing numbers; square numbers. HARD – Four quadrant positive/negative numbers and mapping skills; addition; subtraction; multiplication; division; order of operations; complete equations with addition, subtraction and multiplication to make a number; comparing numbers; add, subtract & multiply with decimals (whole/tenths only); prime numbers. If you are interested in purchasing this fun and educational activity  CLICK HERE 
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AuthorA 21st century School Teacher, Mother, and Wife. 
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