I just read a paper on paired work at http://www.eriding.net/maths/tl_resources_sec.shtml - the link is at the bottom, and is called 'paired and group work for secondary students in mathematics', and have been trying it out in my classroom today. Basically, I have made sure all students are in a pair (or 3 in dire emergencies) and when I've asked a question - an open-ended one - I've given them 30 seconds upwards to discuss and decide on their answer as a pair. I started one class off with my 'awesome survey' - a very biased, silly questionnaire, and treated it as though it was a real, sensible one. They quickly started criticising my questions, so I gave them 30 seconds to discuss with their partner what they thought of my quiz, and come up with their answer. They independently came out with words like biased, and ambiguous They then were asked to take 2 minutes to evaluate a particular question that they were assigned, and feed back in pairs. (I took in a 'service' bell that I was given as a joke for Christmas - GREAT for signalling the end of the discussion period without me needing to shout!) Before feeding back, I made them join another pair to make a bigger group, and share and compare answers. They came up with some really good criticisms, and suggestions for improvement to my questions, and were much better than I'd expected at the whole 'listening to each other' thing. I was surprised at how well they responded to the exercise, and plan to use the same format next lesson to elicit some ideas on what survey we should design to get student feedback to our BSF process, and also how we should collect data. They are a top set, so I hope to get some good ideas about avoiding bias... Another group are starting a constructions topic, so I used the same strategy with them to elicit a rule for the sides of triangles to ensure that it actually makes a triangle - they came up with 'the sum of the two shorter sides must be greater than or equal to the longest side.' We then had a great discussion about what would actually happen if they were equal The paper challenged me to think about how I question students - do I give them processing time before they have to answer? Mostly no if I'm being honest. I found today's experiment quite eye-opening, and it really showed the kind of mathematical language you can get students using to articulate themselves. I challenge you to give it a try!