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Publications & Resources about TPTs


The TPT video 

is the winner of the 2015 TIVA Peer Award Gold Trophy in



Articles & Blogs

Why calling on a student should be the last thing you do by P. Himmele & W. Himmele

Most of us would agree that creating opportunities for students to use higher-order thinking is a worthy goal for teachers in K-12 and college-level classrooms, but when it comes to how we design our daily lessons, these opportunities are often left largely to chance. (see more)

How to know what students know by W. Himmele & P. Himmele

Think about the traditional question-and-answer session that happens daily in many classrooms. We ask a question directed at the entire class, wait for hands to go up, and then select one of the few hands raised... (see more)

Total Participation Techniques book review by Angela Watson

I asked the Himmeles what they think the big take-away for teachers should be when they read this book. Persida explained that the goal is not just getting all students to participate... (see more)

Total Participation Techniques, guest blog for Marjan Glavac by P. Himmele

Total Participation Techniques (TPTs) are teaching techniques that provide teachers with evidence of cognitive engagement and active participation from all students at the same time (Himmele & Himmele, 2011).  The three key phrases... (see more)

4-Part Series (on ASCD Edge)

Total Participation Techniques: Don't Toss the Beach Ball

Think about the typical question-and-answer session in most classrooms. We call it "the beach ball scenario" because it reminds us of a scene in which a teacher is holding a beach ball... (see more)

Listening Objects & The Drop Out Problem

Unfortunately, too much of today's teaching is characterized by a stand-and-deliver approach to presenting content, in which teachers simply stand at the overhead or the front of the room and... (see more)

Does Engagement Equal Learning?

Does student engagement always ensure student learning?  Not always.  Students can be thoroughly engaged in your activity, and still walk away having learned very little about the content...(see more)

Beyond Tolerating Differences

We can learn a great deal about appreciation for differences from the business world.  Maria Bartiromo, described Jack Welch’s view of leadership as that of being the conductor of an orchestra...(see more)

How to promote student reflection, guest bloggers for Larry Ferlazzo's EdWeek Q & A

Whether a lesson is hands on or teacher directed, it is very important that we realize that students need to periodically stop to process what they have learned. We can get so caught up in covering material, that we forget... (see more)

Strategies for encouraging student engagement, guest bloggers for Larry Ferlazzo's EdWeek Q & A

Student engagement is more than just making sure that students are entertained with or participating in a lesson. We can have students participating and entertained with whatever it is we're teaching, and still fail... (see more)


Ways to Cultivate 'Whole Class Engagement', guest bloggers for Larry Ferlazzo's EdWeek Q & A

Of course, since we all live in the real world, it's unlikely that we will be successful in getting all our students participating  -- particularly in a cognitive way -- all the time.  However, there are a number of actions we can take... (see more)


Total Participation Techniques: Making Every Student an Active Learner with Persida and William Himmele


Recorded October 11, 2011

Help all students demonstrate active participation and cognitive engagement in whatever you’re teaching by embedding Total Participation Techniques (TPTs) in your lessons. 

Based on their ASCD book, Pérsida Himmele and William Himmele will walk you through the why and the how of these essential classroom techniques. Reflecting on their work in K–12 classrooms, the Himmeles will provide

  • Photos and descriptions of TPTs being used in classrooms.

  • Background on how to use TPTs to support students in their development of higher-order thinking skills.

  • A model for cognitive engagement that you can use for planning, peer coaching, and leading.

Handouts and template

TPT Cognitive Engagement Model Template (Himmele, P. & Himmele, W., 2011, Total Participational Techniques book).

The TPT Cognitive Engagement Model looks at two critically important aspects to meaningful learning. The first is the level of student participation in class. Is the teacher using a traditional Q & A, or is she/he using more effective approaches to questioning? However, because we know that student engagement doesn’t always equal learning, the model also looks at the degree to which the students are participating in tasks that require higher-order thinking. By analyzing the quality of lessons based on student participation and higher-order thinking, we find that many of the indicators of effective teaching that typically show up on teacher evaluation forms are either accounted for, or they surface in the form of barriers to student cognitive engagement. Looking for these two high-impact indicators gives us much more bang for our buck than if we were simply looking for performance in, for example, pacing, or clarity of presentation.

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