Breaking Skills into Strategies...

Apr 24, 2015 by

The last several posts have been devoted to unpacking skills and strategies.  I have used Jennifer Serravallo’s definition of strategy: “step-by-step how tos that lead toward skilled performance”.  When I think about strategies, the question that always pops into my mind is, “How can I break this down?”  If a learner is struggling with a skill, it may be that the skill needs to be broken down into manageable steps.  So how do we break skills down? This can be more challenging than it might seem. If you have been reading this series of posts, you may have already watched the baseball video clip.  If not, please take 30 seconds to watch it now:  click here. We have already talked about how the father in the video told Max to “use two hands” while Drew modeled it....

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Free Downloadable Reciprocal Teaching Resources...

Nov 3, 2010 by

Below are links to free downloadable reproducibles and resources that will help you implement reciprocal teaching in your classroom: Reciprocal Teaching Bookmarks Reciprocal Teaching Worksheet Question Prompts Predict-Confirm-Adjust Chart Spin a Question Board:  Copy onto cardstock and attach a spinner. Reciprocal Teaching Prompt Cards:  Reproduce, cut, and place cards on a looseleaf ring.  Provide one set for each group of students.  The student who is leading the lesson at the time works through the prompt cards to help guide the discussion.  These should be used in the early stages only.  Once students are comfortable leading the lesson, the prompt cards are no longer needed. Reciprocal Teaching Teacher Assessment Form Reciprocal Teaching Self-Evaluation Reciprocal Teaching Posters:  These can be enlarged to 11 x 17 posters. Share...

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Reciprocal Teaching Assessment and Intervention Tips...

Nov 3, 2010 by

Prediction 1.  Observe students’ use of strategies. Do they: Preview the cover, illustrations, table of contents, headings before reading? Stop to predict during reading? Base their predictions on background knowledge and/or clues from the text and illustrations? Make logical predictions? Use the language of predictions? (See sentence stems under prediction activities. 2.  Watch for students who are having trouble providing evidence for their predictions or who make predictions that don’t make sense. 3.  Review how good readers use the cover, illustrations, text features, and background knowledge to make predictions. Questioning 1.  Observe students’ use of strategies. Do they: Ask questions before, during, and after reading? Ask questions based on the text? Ask main idea, detail, and inference questions? Use the question words who, what, where, when, why, what if, how? 2.  Watch for students...

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Clarifying Mini-Lessons and Practice Activities...

Nov 2, 2010 by

During the clarifying step of reciprocal teaching, students are asked to monitor their own comprehension of a passage, identify and explain difficult words and ideas, and use a variety of strategies to clear up confusion. Most students find it easier to identify words that they cannot decode or do not understand than to identify unclear ideas. Students must be taught to monitor their own comprehension by constantly asking themselves, “Does this make sense?” “Do I understand what I am reading?” It is our job to help students notice more as they read—to help them pay attention to story structure, text features, headings, etc. The clarification strategy helps students realize that they should always be monitoring their reading for meaning. Red Flags It is important to teach readers how to know when they are stuck...

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Questioning Mini-Lessons and Practice Activities...

Nov 2, 2010 by

Research has found that proficient readers ask questions before, during, and after reading. Developing readers do not automatically use this strategy, so it is one that must be explicitly taught. In a reciprocal teaching lesson students are taught to formulate main idea, detail-oriented, and inference questions after each section they read. Because students know that they will be asked to formulate these questions, they read with greater awareness. Even students who have a tendency to skim over difficult spots will attend to their reading more closely, thereby increasing their comprehension. At first students tend to focus on lower level detail-oriented questions. With practice, however, they learn to formulate main idea and higher level inference questions as well. Picture This This activity is a great way to introduce students to the questioning strategy. Display a...

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Summarizing Mini-Lessons and Practice Activities...

Oct 31, 2010 by

Summarizing is a complex strategy that requires students to construct concise descriptions of the main points or events of a text. It is helpful to teach summarizing after questioning because they are closely related skills.  When summarizing narrative text, students should use story structure (characters, setting, problem, events, resolution) to help recount the story in order. When summarizing expository text, students need to determine the most important ideas and arrange them in a logical order. Students need to be taught that summarizing is an in-the-head strategy that proficient readers use to sustain meaning throughout their reading of a text. The following are some excellent video lessons which demonstrate effective teaching of summarization skills: Introduction to Summarizing Using Key Words to Summarize Using Interactive Writing to Teach Summary Writing Checking for Understanding  Conferring to Assess...

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