Reciprocal Teaching A Strategy to Improve Comprehension Paige Cole, Michelle Lindsey, Elizabeth Sears, Stephanie Shumacher LLED 6010 Module 7 The Fabulous Four Paula the Predictor Clara Clarifier Quincy the Questioner Sammy Summarizer
Why Reciprocal Teaching? • Reading comprehension is often overlooked as an early reading instruction focus. • However, it is now clear from research that reading comprehension skills, too, should be taught “from the onset of reading instruction” (R&C, p. 158). • Reciprocal Teaching stood out to us because it incorporates many strategies for effective comprehension instruction. • It is also applicable to many grade and ability levels, from emergent to fluent readers, and is adaptable to almost all content areas. • National Reading Panel research has shown that “teaching children how to coordinate the use of a set or package of comprehension strategies as they read and discuss what they’ve learned with peers and with teacher support yields particularly strong results” (R&C, p. 159).
How RT Works • RT uses a set of four reading comprehension strategies: predicting, questioning, clarifying, and summarizing. • Teachers use a gradual release method, along with many best practices: prediction and summarization prompts, graphic organizers, question-forming strategies, collaborative learning, activation of background knowledge, understanding story structure, using text supports, and taking affirmative steps to clarify unknown vocabulary or concepts. Both set students up for success when working independently.
The Fabulous Four Now it’s YOUR turn!
Chapter 1: COLUMBUS, THE INDIANS, AND HUMAN PROGRESS Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the World Arawak men and women, naked, tawny, and full of wonder, emerged from their villages onto the island's beaches and swam out to get a closer look at the strange big boat. When Columbus and his sailors came ashore, carrying swords, speaking oddly, the Arawaks ran to greet them, the information that Columbus wanted most was: Where is the gold? He had persuaded the king and queen of Spain to finance an expedition to the lands, the wealth, he expected would be on the other side of the Atlantic-the Indies and Asia, gold and spices. For, like other informed people of his time, he knew the world was round and he could sail west in order to get to the Far East. Spain was recently unified, one of the new modern nation-states, like France, England, and Portugal. Its population, mostly poor peasants, worked for the nobility, who were 2 percent of the population and owned 95 percent of the land. Spain had tied itself to the Catholic Church, expelled all the Jews, driven out the Moors. Like other states of the modern world, Spain sought gold, which was becoming the new mark of wealth, more useful than land because it could buy anything. There was gold in Asia, it was thought, and certainly silks and spices, for Marco Polo and others had brought back marvelous things from their overland expeditions centuries before. Now that the Turks had conquered Constantinople and the eastern Mediterranean, and controlled the land routes to Asia, a sea route was needed. Portuguese sailors were working their way around the southern tip of Africa. Spain decided to gamble on a long sail across an unknown ocean.
Reciprocal Teaching 1. Choose the order of student leaders who will facilitate each segment/paragraph and generate discussion. 2. Begin by examining the text and predicting the topic. Consider reading headings, chapter titles, etc. 3. Student leader will read paragraph out loud or teacher will read but everyone will follow along. 4. Student leader facilitates and records discussion that focuses on Predicting Questioning-ask about important information Clarifying-clarify words, ideas, even pronunciations Summarizing-summarize text and predict what may happen next 5. Repeat process while rotating student leaders.
Reciprocal Teaching Across Grade Levels and Content Areas Secondary Classroom • A lively discussion of literature and the teachers behind the scene. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uyys7Mj-JeE&feature=related Elementary Classroom • An example within the science content area http://vimeo.com/13516178
RT and the Secondary Classroom • Students have high level of engagement with the text and with each other as they hold a small group discussion. • The teacher provides students with graphic organizers, an effective tool for comprehension instruction, and conferences with individual students. • Students have moved into an independent stage with this strategy. They’re sharing their thoughts and ideas with each other in a collaborative setting. • Students’ responses seem authentic and insightful.
RT and the Elementary Classroom • The teacher models how to explore text supports and activate background knowledge as she works through the four comprehension strategies featured in RT: predicting, questioning, clarifying, and summarizing. • Students use hand gestures to tell the teacher which strategies they think they should employ at different points in the text, and they discuss with their partners how to use the comprehension strategies. • These students are equally engaged and excited, and we can see them activating reading comprehension strategies in order to dialogue about the text.
Final Thoughts on Reciprocal Teaching • Adaptability makes RT a useful strategy across the content/grade levels. • It lends itself readily to use in small group settings and guided reading, and is easily modeled by the teacher. • It is a great way to get students talking about text, and we enjoyed seeing students taking active leadership roles in their discussions • We wondered if the elementary students really were able to connect the movement of the hand gestures with what these gestures represent, and we are curious about how the hand movements solidify the concepts for them.
Pro Reciprocal Teaching • One of many useful strategies for teachers to use • If RT is used consistently across grade levels, then by the time students are in secondary school they will have internalized powerful skills which will help them engage with a text as fully as the high school students in the clip did.