Book Study: Reciprocal Teaching at Work K-12 Chapter 1

9:56 PM Sarah Koves 0 Comments

Christina from Kinder Blossoms and I have had this in the works for awhile.  

Every week we will be posting our primary (Christina) and secondary (me) reflections on Reciprocal Teaching at work k-12 by Lori Oczus. Grab your own copy, so you can join us this month.

What a great read this has been for me as I finish my school year and head into summer since our entire district is going to be focusing on reading as a 5th core this coming year..  I love that she starts out with the research supporting the book instead of putting it at the end like some authors.  Also, Lori outlines how her book fits into a reading program.

Lori begins by laying out her four strategies for students of all ages when it comes to reading:


I have been using text annotation for the last semester in my literature classes by having the students write on sticky notes. These aren't the exact same words that I have been using, but the ideas are similar. I think creating an anchor chart of these four, numbering them, and hanging on the wall in my classroom would give students something to focus on with the reading.

My really high-level readers do these things automatically, but many of my struggling readers asked me what they were supposed to write.

When we paused in the middle of a chapter of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, I would remind them to ask a question, make a prediction, connect the reading to something else, or make a comment. However, this is not something I have tried in my civics class when reading our textbook. I probably should have; I also need to make the addition of clarifying.

Clarifying is the one strategy that I can see my students struggle with. Many of them are good predictors (now I need to get the to use textual evidence to support their predictions), questioners, and summarizers. When it comes to clarifying I find two things happen:

1) The students say they understand everything
2) The students don't know how to figure out the confusing part without the teacher giving them the answer.

Lori has a great solution to #1: ask the students to identify places that might be confusing for younger students and explain those in a way a younger student would understand. For #2 she wants teachers to use questioning to get students at least thinking about how to solve it on their own.

Lori also has wonderful lists of sentence starters for students who need help starting their response to the text. These work well for both fiction and nonfiction reading.

The last bits of Chapter 1 talk about RTI, and how to make Reciprocal Teaching fit into all three tiers. This will be something I will have to refer back to as I begin planning my new reading time in High School English and as our building begins to build our RTI program.

I would love to hear how you use this kinds of reading response or any suggestions or ideas you may have.

Be sure at stop by to see Christina's Primary Grades post

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