Yo-Yo Partner Work- Often times, one student tends to dominate the conversation when completing partner work.The yo-yo partner strategy is a great technique for holding partners accountable for work completed during cooperative learning so that both students have the opportunity to learn and show growth.
When students are communicating about their mathematical thoughts, processes, and ideas, use a timer to guide discussion time. Give each student 30 seconds, longer if needed, to communicate their ideas to a partner. The listener should listen intently and then make one comment and ask one question. The students then reverse roles.
Comments can include thoughts like, “I really like the strategy that you did. I might try that next time.” Or, “Your work is easy to follow and the table that you used helps me make sense of the problem.” Initially, students will need support to understand how to make informative and supportive comments. You may even want to brainstorm a list of statements/comments on chart paper for the students to refer back to when they are communicating about mathematics.