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Reciprocal Teaching in the collaborative classroom

Reciprocal Teaching in the collaborative classroom

Author: Trisha Fyfe

In this lesson you will understand the history and major components of reciprocal teaching. You will learn how to apply recirpocal teaching as a collaborative instructional method.

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Welcome. I'm Trisha Fyfe, and today I'm going to be exploring the topic of reciprocal teaching in the collaborative classroom. As we dive into this topic, we will work toward several learning objectives. Together we will answer the following questions.

What is reciprocal teaching? How does reciprocal teaching connect to collaborative teaching and learning? Let's begin with an explanation of what reciprocal teaching is

Palinscar coined the term reciprocal teaching, and it is essentially the idea that reciprocal teaching takes group effort between teacher and students. Reciprocal teaching refers to an instructional activity that takes place in the form of a dialogue between teachers and students regarding segments of the text that they're working through.

The dialogue is structured by the use of four strategies. Summarizing, question generating, clarifying, and predicting. The teacher and students take turns assuming the role of teacher in leading this dialogue, and these interactions all lead to a deeper understanding of the text and the content. Through this lesson, we will look closely at each of the four components of reciprocal teaching, as well as the purpose for each of these components.

First, let's start with summarizing. Summarizing entails the ability to find and integrate the most essential information in the text. Any piece of information can be summarized-- sentences, paragraphs, or entire text-- and the starting place for your own students is dependent on your objectives as well as their abilities. Typically, teachers move from simple to more complex with students. For example, sentences to paragraphs.

The next component is questioned generating. Generating questions builds on and reinforces summarizing skills. This component is an important piece to improving comprehension. Questions can be gathered at many different levels in reciprocal teaching, increasing our ability as teachers to meet the diverse needs of our students.

In clarifying, comprehension continues to improve. We use the question, what do I know? This is an essential step for struggling readers as they are able to stop and evaluate where they really are in the process of learning. In using this component, we can assess and facilitate tools for self-check in the comprehension process, and also examine errors of our students. Strategies can be formed such as re-reading and asking for help, both of which will increase comprehension.

Last is predicting. It's here we look at what happens next by making predictions. What will the author of this text discuss next? Background knowledge is important for students to fully grasp prediction, as is the ability to focus on text features such as headings, subheadings, and questions in text.

So how does all that we've learned so far in this lesson connect back to collaborative teaching and learning? Communication and collaboration are required. Because this is a process where students and teachers are working together, both students and teachers must use communication and collaboration.

We must discuss and use questioning techniques that are proven to be effective and research based. It's important to note that reciprocal teaching is generally used when focusing on a text with your students.

So let's review what we learned today. We covered the following questions. What is reciprocal teaching, as well as how does reciprocal teaching connect to collaborative teaching and learning. Remember, reciprocal teaching refers to an instructional activity that takes place as a dialogue between teachers and students where four strategies are used-- summarizing, question generating, clarifying, and predicting.

Collaboration and communication are essential to both reciprocal teaching as well as collaborative teaching and learning. Now that you're more familiar with reciprocal teaching and its components, let's apply these ideas by reflecting on the questions. What are the benefits of reciprocal teaching? What might the challenges be in a diverse classroom to implementing reciprocal teaching?

Thanks for joining me today as we discussed the lesson reciprocal teaching in the collaborative classroom. I hope you found value in this topic and are able to apply these ideas and concepts to your own teaching. To dive a little deeper and learn how to apply this information, be sure to check out the additional resources section associated with this video. This is where you'll find links targeted toward helping you discover more ways to apply this course material.

Notes on “Reciprocal Teaching in the Collaborative Classroom”


(00:00- 00:21) Introduction/Objectives

(00:22- 01:14)  What is Reciprocal Teaching?

(01:15- 01:43) Component 1: Summarizing

(01:44- 02:01) Component 2: Question Generating

(02:02- 02:32)  Component 3: Clarifying

(02:33- 02:53) Component 4: Predicting

(02:54-03:24) Connecting Collaborative Teaching and Learning to Reciprocal Teaching

 (03:25- 03:56) Recap

(03:57- 04:42) Reflection 

Additional Resources

Emerging Perspectives on Learning, Teaching and Technology: Reciprocal Teaching

This page provides a clear and comprehensive overview of reciprocal teaching in cooperative learning environments. Unlike other sites, this one uses a classroom scenario to instruct teachers on how and why to use reciprocal teaching in the classroom.

Types of Cooperative Learning: Reciprocal Teaching

This is a very brief web page that provides an at-a-glance look at the four reciprocal teaching strategies. This webpage is a great snapshot to use when planning.