The procedures of Numbered Heads Together (NHT)

The procedures of Numbered Heads Together (NHT)

According to Kagan Publishing (2008), the strategy leads the class through a series of steps designed to promote learning through cooperation, active participation, and individual accountability. The steps for each randomly-selected question are:

a.       Think Time. Everyone thinks how to answer the question. No talking.

b.      Write Answer. Everyone privately writes his/her own answer on his/her own sheet of paper or response board.

c.       Heads Together. Teammates put their heads together and share their answers. They reach consensus on a team answer and discuss and teach if necessary so every one knows the answer or knows how to solve the problem.

d.      Who Answers? One student on each team is selected. All selected student stands, ready to answer independently. They may no longer consult with teammates.

e.       Answer Question. The teacher decides how to have students answer the question. Here are some options:

·         Standing students all show their response boards.

·         Teacher calls on one standing student to share answer aloud.

·         Teacher calls on multiple standing students to share.

·         Students use response cards or fingers for True/False or Multiple Choice questions.

The procedures of structuring NHT are described as below (Kagan, 1989)

the steps for using Numbered Heads Together are:

a)      Students Count Off - In each group, students count off by the number of students in the group. If you have groups of six students, students count off 1-6. They do this in whatever order they choose. If there is a group with only five students in it, one student will have two numbers.

b)      Pose a question/problem - The teacher poses a question or problem to the class and tells groups they have a specific amount of time to come to consensus on an answer. The amount of time allotted will depend on whether the question is one with a specific “right” answer or a more open-ended question.

c)      Students put heads together – The students put their heads together to make sure that everyone in the group has the answer or answers.

d)      Teacher calls a number – The teacher calls a number from 1-6. All the students with that number stand. One of the standing students is called upon to give their group’s answer. Standing students with different answers can be called upon to explain their group’s thinking.


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