Think Time and Collaborative Learning
Lesson Objective: Work independently before working in groups
All Grades / All Subjects / Groups

Thought starters

  1. Why is it important to have students start by working individually?
  2. What is Ms. Pittard's role during group work?
  3. How could you use think time to enrich collaborative group work?
I really believe in think time. All too often, teachers are in a hurry to get through a lesson, and children may not get enough independent thinking time. When this happens, as the video described, one student tends to be the leader or provider of ideas. This year I have implemented turn and talk more than ever, and it has helped the students to think and share ideas. Adding in more think time can only enhance the results of turn and talk. I look forward to doing this more often. The more students who get to think and speak, the more ideas can be shared.
Recommended (1)
More time can be allocated for thinking in classrooms, and as Denise indicated, more ideas will be produced and more children will be more likely to speak and be part of the conversation.
Recommended (0)
Individual think time is so important. It's true- many kids jump into conversation and hide behind the the kid who has the answers instead of trying to think or problem solve on their own. More ideas will come to the table instead of 1. It also gives kids a chance to speak and be part of the learning and conversation.
Recommended (0)
I think students need to be instructed how to think initially. This could be structured with outline questions so they know what to think about.
Recommended (0)
Students sometime have a hard time with transition. When they come in they should sit and start working individually and then in group work. Mrs. Pittard is walking the class and make sure students are on task. She is also reinforcing their knowledge
Recommended (0)


  • Think Time and Collaborative Learning Transcript
    Becky Pittard: All right, then, this is going to be your think time alone.

    Think Time and Collaborative Learning Transcript
    Becky Pittard: All right, then, this is going to be your think time alone. Look at those representations. What's right? What's not right about each one? Off you go!
    Becky Pittard: After we've analyzed this story - and I feel that these children understand their mission with the story - then, I encourage them to use individual think time. I worry that children immediately start talking to their peers and one child does all the thinking and the other child does very little. So this individual think time gives each child time to think and reason before someone speaks to them. I think that's very important for you to... figure out your own thoughts before you turn and talk to someone else.
    +++ 00:00:58.24 +++
    Becky Pittard: Great ideas I see out in the classroom. Let me give you the opportunity.
    Becky Pittard: After the children have individual think time, and I usually judge when to stop that because I will start seeing a lot of children who are stuck - they're not real sure what to do next. And then it's time to say, turn - if you would like - you can turn to a partner, a peer and discuss how to solve this problem and discuss your thinking. If you would like to continue working by yourself, you may do so. If you want to turn to people at your table, you may do so [laughs]. Turn and talk about it with somebody at your table and see where you are.
    Student: Explain to me why you think the second one is wrong.
    Student #2: Cause over here...
    Becky Pittard: As the children are discussing - working peer-to-peer - and that is a grand time for me to walk around and listen to the children. To understand what they are thinking. What common misconceptions are happening in my classroom and then what are common understandings that are happening in the classroom. So that's a time for children to voice their own thinking, but it's also a time for me as teacher to gain understanding about their thinking.

School Details

Pathways Elementary School
2100 Airport Road
Ormond Beach FL 32174
Population: 714

Data Provided By:



Becky Pittard


Teaching Practice

All Grades / All Subjects / Collaboration

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All Grades / All Subjects / Planning

Teaching Practice

All Grades / All Subjects / Engagement

Lesson Idea

Grades 9-12 / ELA / Tch DIY