.At the start of every school year, I am faced with the same challenge..... some of my kiddos can read fluently, but they aren't comprehending the text! One of the best techniques that I have employed in my classroom is Reciprocal Teaching... aka The Fabulous Four! Reciprocal teaching is hardly new. It has been around since 1984 - first named by Palincsar & Brown. Since then, countless researchers have demonstrated its effectiveness in the classroom. In fact, Dr. John Hattie's studies boast a 2 year reading increase in just 1 year of instruction by using Reciprocal Teaching. I love the way author- Lori Oczkus has renamed the technique, The Fab Four because it teaches kids four powerful strategies that good readers use when they read. They are predicting, questioning, summarizing and clarifying. Oczkus emphasizes the two key points of Reciprocal Teaching:
1. Kids are using all four strategies while reading vs practicing just one strategy during a lesson.
2. Kids are actively discussing and using these 4 powerful strategies.
In my classroom, I have found that if I make it fun.... kids will beg to do the technique that I know is good for them... sort of like sneaking veggies in the brownie mix! Here's how I use Reciprocal Teaching:
1. Small group instruction- Kids sit in a circle with each child holding one of the Reciprocal Teaching cards. After reading a chapter together, each child takes a turn leading the group with their card. After each student is done, the group may share their thoughts and add to the step.
2. Use props to accompany the cards. This definitely ups the "fun factor". Here are some props that I use:
Predict- Small snow globe- to resemble a fortune teller's crystal ball
Question- Microphone- to resemble a reporter asking a question
Summarize- A Glove- to remind them to use a 5 finger summary strategy
Clarify - A magnifying glass - to help us look closer at a challenging word or phrase
I use Reciprocal Teaching for class novels, close reading, basal stories and almost any passage that my students are reading. It is research based and highly engaging. Give it a try this week and let me know how it worked for your class!
As always .... check out what the experts have to say about Reciprocal Teaching:
https://bit.ly/2NBU3Lt - Dr. John Hattie, Visible Learning
https://bit.ly/2ptD538 - Lori Oczkus, author of Reciprocal Teaching at Work