Pairwork or Pair-Share. This can be a particularly valuable tool at the beginning of the semester. It can help engage students right away, and gets them accustomed to speaking by providing a safe environment for participation. It also helps ensure that each student has a chance to think about and discuss a topic, and will often foster a more inclusive and dynamic class discussion.
Be sure to provide students with clear instructions and achievable goals. Sharing conclusions and answers can help instill a sense of accomplishment, ownership and involvement in the class – all while encouraging students to be active participants in their education!
Pairwork can be as simple as presenting the class with a question and asking students to discuss their answers with a partner for 1-3 minutes, just to get their mental juices flowing. Pairs can be made up by pairing students sitting near each other, or a TA can match quieter students with more talkative students.
After students have discussed the problem/question at hand, have the pair present their findings back to the class as a whole.
Tools for measuring understanding
|Notecards||Assignments, Quizzes, etc.|
More classroom activities
|Groupwork||Debates||Each-one Teach-one||Journaling & Reflection||Quizzes & Games|