Sometimes a student or students have a tendency to monopolize class discussions. When one member of a team seems to be dominating the conversation, try using a study team and teaching strategy called a Listening Post. This strategy is effective when you want to make a team member aware of what dynamics are going on in the team or when you need to raise the status of a team member. To implement this strategy, select one person from a team to be the “Listening Post.” For 10 minutes or so, the “Listening Post” is to record questions that are being asked by the other team members or what the team members are saying to each other, who is doing the talking or any other norm that needs to be observed. The “Listening Post” is not allowed to talk, only record. At the end of the 10 minutes, the “Listening Post” reports his/her observations to the team.
Another way to use the Listening Post is to focus on vocabulary and precise use of mathematical language. Choose five or six relevant vocabulary words or terms that you would like the students to use. Have the “Listening Post” record how many times the team uses each of the words and/or which team member is using which word.