Amy Williams regularly uses pair-share activities to encourage listening in her classroom. I’ve always found that to be a more effective way of increasing student engagement; it was hard for me to keep everyone involved in a large group discussion. By asking students to pair up and share their responses, you can increase participation and craft a strong listening opportunity at the same time. I use a variation of pair-share. After students talk with their partner, I lead a whole group discussion during which students can share answers. But rather than sharing their own answers, I ask them to share what their partner said. That sounds quite simple, but it raises the level of expectation for listening. As one teacher told me in a recent workshop, “If I had known you wanted me to share the other person’s answer, I would have listened better!” That was exactly my point with my students. I wanted them to focus on truly listening. Asking them to share their partner’s answer rather than their own encourages them to do so.