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Monday, June 29, 2015

Reciprocal Teaching at Work: Chapter 5

This is our final chapter of the book.  I hope you enjoyed reading and learning about reciprocal teaching.  Remember to visit Sarah and those that linked up at the end of this post.

The final chapter is about using reciprocal teaching in literature circles.

When using reciprocal teaching in a literature circle, you may decide to assign roles for each of the four strategies.  In addition " a discussion director" helps put these strategies together.   However, you may elect to have student freely discuss the book using the strategies.  Students are responsible for participation regardless of the structure.

What are the goals of reciprocal teaching in literature circles?

1) The goal is to increase comprehension using cooperative learning.

2) Allow students to work with the strategies using various texts types.

3) Allow student to be more responsible for use of strategies.

4) Foster independent use of strategies.

It requires extensive modeling and practice before you can ask student to work independently with the strategies in a literature circle.  After the foundation has been put into place you can introduce the literature circle with a group that the rest of the class watches to learn procedures.
These students have a role they model for the class and the class gets to try roles as well.

Jigsaw Huddles from Reciprocal Teaching at Work by Lori Oczkus from International Literacy Assoc on Vimeo.

The "jigsaw expert huddle" is another way to train students to be experts in their roles during literature circles.  Student have a role for each strategy. They come and huddle with the teacher to discuss their strategy.  They then return to their group prepared for discussion.

The discussion director was added to include other important reading strategies.  Role sheets are included in the book for student support.  Strategies should be continually modeled.   In addition, Students must have appropriate skills for conducting a discussion.  This includes listening and staying on topic. These need to be taught as well.

Literature circles invite opportunities to assess.
This can be done using teacher observation and notes.  Students can also record on the various discussion sheets individually or as a group. (These are included in the book.)

The remainder of the book includes additional references, lessons, handouts, and information to assist you in incorporating the reciprocal teaching in your classroom.  I recommend you get your own copy of the book to access all that is available for you to use.

Thank you for reading! Checkout Sarah's post!
Kovescence of the Mind

Monday, June 22, 2015

Reciprocal Teaching at Work: Chapter 4

Welcome back again as we jump into chapter four.  Please link up your post or leave a comment about the chapter. Don't forget to visit Sarah at  Kovescence of the Mind for her thoughts on this chapter.
Kovescence of the Mind

Chapter 4 begins with an example of how to incorporate the four strategies into a guided reading lesson.
To summarize, incorporating reciprocal teaching into guided reading lessons yields powerful results.

To build an effective guided reading lesson you need to activate prior knowledge, preview the book and discuss predictions, ask students to read while working individual on the four strategies, and discuss the book.  Encourage student to interact with each other using reciprocal teaching strategies during the reading period.

The Goals

*Demonstrate and show how to use the strategies.
*Do lesson in small groups.
*Guide comprehension of reading material student would be unsuccessful with independently.
*Model more of the strategies.
*Use flexible grouping
*Ready students to participate in literature circles

To accomplish flexible grouping the author gives four ways to group.
1)   Group by the strategy needing reinforcement
2)   Allow students to choose a groups based on the interest she/he has of the books available.
3)   Create a intervention group for extra instruction
4)   Ability level

Don't over use leveled guided reading books.  Consider using the reading series, Newspaper articles, poems, magazine articles, or nonfiction text, novels, real world reading materials, and other subject textbooks.

Cs and Qs Guided Reading from Reciprocal Teaching at Work by Lori Oczkus from International Literacy Assoc on Vimeo.

Guided reading is a good time for assessment. Take note of how well they are working with the four strategies while you are coaching or during discussions.  The appendix has forms that are available for this purpose.

So what does the rest of the class do during this time...

The author tells us to create routines were students are trained to read, fill in graphic organizers, or do word work.  She recommends students spend most of this time in authentic reading.  If you are teaching older students you can train them to participate in a literature circle during guided reading time.  She recommends you read additional books depending on the type of independent model you'd like to have.

Tailor your instruction according to your grade level in addition to guided reading sessions. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Reciprocal Teaching at Work: Chapter 3

Welcome back!  This week we jump into chapter three.  Please link up your post or leave a comment about the chapter. Don't forget to visit Sarah at  Kovescence of the Mind for her thoughts on this chapter.

The third chapter begins with examples of reciprocal teaching whole group lessons.  There are advantages and disadvantages to whole group instruction.  It is not best for differentiation, but it provides opportunities for all levels of students to work on the same text. In addition, it is a good way for students to begin to learn the how to use the strategies. The disadvantages of this lesson model is that some students may not be as engaged or to shy to participate in this type of setting.

It is possible to conduct a guided reading group in the middle of a whole group lesson.  After conducting a whole group lesson, you can break students into pairs to use strategies on the next few pages of the text you are reading.  This is the time in which you can meet with a small group.
The group will meet as a whole again and continue discussing.  The author recommends that whole class lessons be taught to reinforce the strategies. However, she warns against overusing whole group lessons.

Goals of Whole Class instruction

 teach reciprocal teaching vocabulary 
 to have more chances to scaffold reciprocal teaching lessons
 teach students in any level strategies to improve comprehension of grade level text
 to use reciprocal teaching to have discussions about text 
 to practice routines and procedures 

Fab Four Read-Aloud from Reciprocal Teaching at Work by Lori Oczkus from International Literacy Assoc on Vimeo.

To be successful in a whole class lesson, teacher must model, students must participate in guided group practice and think about the strategies they used. The author expresses her practice of alternating between pair discussions and whole group discussions. She monitors the discussions and provides a poster, bookmark or other supports to help students internalize learning.  Remember, these resources are already provided in the book.

Think alouds are crucial to the successful reciprocal teaching lesson.  These must be practiced by both teacher and students. They must be done repeatedly so students come to master these strategies.

Students are asked to engage in metacognition as they discuss the strategies that were most helpful for them during each session. 

The use of cooperative learning in reciprocal teaching is essential as students are asked to discuss the strategies with one another in various grouping for different texts.

The author suggest whole group lessons are a good time to assess student use of the strategies. She includes a rubric in the book for this purpose. You can listen in to small group discussions or observe what students say during whole group discussions. She says you can have students record on the "Literature Discussion Sheet for Reciprocal Teaching." (This is another resource provided in the book.)
Teacher can mention those who have used strategies well and discuss this with the class. Finally, the teacher could lead a class discussion on the steps for each strategy and record these on an anchor chart.

The last part of the chapter includes four lessons to reinforce strategies and includes resources for these.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Reciprocal Teaching at Work: Chapter 2

Welcome back to our book study.  I hope you're ready for chapter 2.  Don't forget to link up to one of us depending on your grade. Elementary teachers link up at the end of this post and secondary here:
Kovescence of the Mind
****************************************************************************** The author recommends teaching all four strategies at once to your class in several lessons over time.
She goes on to give examples on how to introduce these four strategies.

One example is through the use of read-alouds. This is simply reading aloud from the text and modeling the strategies. Later, you'll ask students to talk throughout the lesson using the modeled techniques. The four strategies should be displayed so that as each one is discussed they can be named.

Another way to introduce the "Fab Four" is through shared reading in poetry.
Predict before reading, then read together.  Afterwards, teacher models clarifying, questioning, and summarizing the poem.

The author recommends the use of a four door chart to reinforce and practice the strategies. Students practice the strategies orally and record their responses under each category.  You can also focus on one strategy by writing it on all four door for students to record responses.
IMG_0343[1] hh 
photo from http://reciprocalteachingresources.wikispaces.com/Visual+Aids

The author further recommends teaching the strategies using characters or props.   You may use puppets, objects or large pictures to hold up or use during think alouds.  The book references Appendix E which includes reproducible posters and icons for use.

The author mentions the use of "mentor texts" in teaching clarifying, questioning, summarizing, and predicting.  She makes book recommendations for each of the different strategies.
Here are a few:

Predict:  Tree of Birds by Susan Meddaugh
Question: The Stranger by Chris Van Allsburg
Clarify:  Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
Summarize:  Animals Nobody Loves by Seymour Simon

The next part of the chapter talks about the use of gestures for the four strategies.  The use of gestures makes "learning more concrete."  Here are some examples:

Rub an imaginary crystal ball for predicting.

Hold a pretend microphone for questioning.

Hold your hands parallel forming a pause button symbol for clarifying.

Make a pretend lasso to round up main ideas for summarizing.

Fab Four Puppets from Reciprocal Teaching at Work by L.D. Oczkus from International Literacy Assoc on Vimeo.

Other fun ways to practice the "Fab Four" include games.  The first uses a die for students to roll a strategy.  They then use a sentence starter for that strategy to discuss the text.  The second uses a dial with the strategies.  This dial can be used to show what strategy is being used or to spin what will be practiced next. The spinner is included as a reproducible in the book.

What is appropriate reading material for reciprocal teaching? 
All types of text can be used. Whatever you use in your classroom normally will work well.  The recommendation is to use text at the level or a slightly higher level of the students since the goal is to increase comprehension.  Break longer text into smaller parts while incorporating reciprocal teaching.  Scaffolding is most effective when working  with smaller pieces to understand at a time.  Also choose a variety of different types of text to assess your students proficiency in using the strategies.

The book includes a table of various reading materials and teaching suggestions to use reciprocal teaching with these texts.

After your class has become familiar with the four strategies it is important to continue modeling and assess on a regular basis.  Reteach strategies as necessary.  The book includes sample lesson plans for reciprocal teaching.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Planning by the Pool Blog Hop

Thanks for hopping by.  Join me for freebies and a giveaway! Here are a few things I am planning to use next year.

Enter my giveaway for Mr. Syllabot.  He is a robot that reinforces syllables and kids love him. Mr. Syllabot

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  I made these little gifts for new kindergartners starting the year. These are waiting for them on the first day of school. It is my first freebie for you.
Kinder Gift

Directions for Making the Kinder Gift

These are tags I give to the children when I meet them at orientation. These are my second freebie for you.

 Welcome Tags

Minute Mommy

Monday, June 1, 2015

Book Study Chapter 1

Welcome to our book study for Reciprocal Teaching at Work K-12 by Lori Oczkus.  Stick around, read, and then link up your own post at the bottom of this page! This is week 1 of 5 so you have plenty of time to join!
 The author begins by telling us that as students continue to struggle with understanding various text, research concludes that students need to be taught comprehension skills.  Research supports reciprocal teaching for increasing student comprehension.

Reciprocal teaching is designed to supplement other teaching strategies.
It "is a scaffolded discussion technique built on four strategies..."  It works in all grade levels and for both fiction and nonfiction text.  The four strategies were developed based on what good readers do to comprehend text.  They are used in combination with one another in any order.

Here are the strategies...

While many students are familiar with this task, they often take it to mean guessing.  However, it involves a preview of the text and incorporating background knowledge to make "logical predictions."

Prediction strategies vary based on text.
For example, fiction not only involves viewing cover, title, and illustrations, but story elements such as setting, character, problem, and events.

Nonfiction, on the other hand, involves viewing headings, tables, pictures, and text structure such as main idea and details, or cause and effect.

Teachers need to teach students to ask different types of questions about the text.  For example,  teachers need to demonstrate the difference between recall type questions and higher level thinking questions.  It is also suggested that students have explicit modeling of questioning during the reading process.  Students need to learn questioning techniques for asking about main ideas, details, and inferences.

Clarifying is the ability to check your understanding of the text.  To be successful in this skill, students need to realize when they are struggling with an concept or word and have the skills to overcome these struggles.  Again, teaching this skill will be necessary for student success. The use of sentence starters is suggested for this process.

This strategy is among the most difficult for students to master.  It is recommended that teachers engage students by using more "friendly" summarizing strategies.  This includes drawing, writing five important parts, or summarizing smaller chunks of text.  The author includes sentence starters for the purpose of guiding this process.

 Image by Donna Ahlrich, Charmaine Broe-MacKenzie and Jim Brown (2005).

The next section of the book includes two lengthy tables with suggestions on how to handle problems implementing reciprocal teaching and the four strategies.  

The author goes on to explain that there are four instructional strategies necessary for successful implementation of reciprocal teaching.  The first is scaffolding which can be simplified with these teacher steps, "I do, we do, you do."
The second strategy is a think-aloud.  These need to occur regularly during teacher modeling.  The third is metacognition. This entails students thinking about what reciprocal strategies helped them and why.
Finally, cooperative learning is an important component of reciprocal teaching.

The final section of the chapter discusses the use of reciprocal teaching in the three tiers of RTI and how to be effective doing so.

At the end of chapter one, there is a reference to appendix A which provides reciprocal teaching assessment tools to assess your student's skills.
 Reciprocal Teaching Comprehension Strategy Cue Card 

Secondary teachers link up with... 
Kovescence of the Mind

Elementary teachers link up below...