Reciprocal Teaching and the Common Core State Standards

Nov 3, 2010 by

During the past couple of weeks I have not posted any new blog entries.  What I have been doing instead is posting a series of articles on a reading comprehension technique called reciprocal teaching.  For those who may not be familiar with this technique, reciprocal teaching is a research-based instructional model that was developed in 1984 by Annemarie Palinscar and Ann L. Brown. It is a method that utilizes four comprehension strategies—predicting, questioning, clarifying, and summarizing—to help students construct meaning from text. The focus of reciprocal teaching is on the interactive dialogue between students. It is reciprocal in nature because students in a reciprocal teaching group take turns leading the discussion and guiding the group through the four strategies.

I noticed in the Oct./Nov. Reading Today newspaper that Lori Oczkus has published a new edition of Reciprocal Teaching at Work K-12I have also been studying the Common Core Literacy Standards that have been adopted by 38 states so far. A few things stand out to me as I look through the standards:  1) Students are going to be asked to read with deeper comprehension. 2) They will be asked to support their thinking with evidence from the text. 3) They will be required to spend increasingly more time on expository reading and writing.  I realized that the reciprocal teaching model could be very helpful in leading students into deeper comprehension of expository text.  Because it is conducted in small groups, it also has practical applications for RTI (Response to Intervention).  In fact, it was originally developed as an intervention technique for struggling middle school students.

With all of that in mind, I decided to post some information and resources to help interested teachers get started with reciprocal teaching.  You can find all of this information on the Comprehension Strategies page of my website.  You may want to start by viewing these brief but excellent video clips of reciprocal teaching in action:

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