TTO -Think, Talk, Open Exchange
Instructional Goal: Share with others and gain feedback by finding similarities and differences
Strengths of this routine:
- Talk part is not-threatening so students are inclined to participate.
- Students can efficiently clarify confusions, correct homework, check for understanding, and generate ideas through this routine.
Roles: One Speaker, Two Listeners, One Time keeper (can be the facilitator for the entire group or one of the listeners. It is useful to set a timer so that no one has to watch a clock.)
Note: Whenever a participant’s task is to listen then the participant cannot talk.
Starting Position: Initial Thoughts
- Prepare initial thoughts to share with the group.
Actions: Think – Talk – (repeat) – Open Exchange
- Determine who is going first in small groups sitting knee to knee and eye to eye.
- Think about your role, speaker, listener.
- Talk: Speaker: describes a question, dilemma, or resonating ideas. Listeners: Two other learners listen without interrupting. No one but the speaker talks during this time period. If the speaker finishes before the time is up then the group uses the extra time to think.
- Think: Everyone takes time to think about what they heard. During think time learners may jot down questions, record connections, patterns, and surprises, and take notes.
- Repeat steps 2 – 4 (changing roles so that everyone has a chance to be the Speaker)
- Open Exchange: Discuss patterns in what was shared. Ask questions to clarify and probe ideas. The only rule is that everyone must both give and take ideas.
- Return to the intial thoughts to add, confirm, and change record of thinking based on learning through TTO – annotate changes to make learning visible.
This structure is based on the Micro Lab Protocol from the National School Reform web site.
See an example of how to measure the impact of TTO on student learning. In this video, New Visions for Public Schools Living Environment science teachers describe how they use TTO to increase vocabulary use in the classroom.
Scientific Buzzwords in Action
Source: New Visions for Public Schools – Living Environment Curriculum
Try this variant of TTO: Triad Stations at Different Times in a Mini-Lesson