Twilight Course Overview
• Session 1: An Introduction to Reciprocal Teaching
• Introduction to the 4 key strategies used in RT (predicting; questioning; clarifying;
• Session 2: Reciprocal Teaching cont…..
• Importance of metacognitive skills.
• Importance of providing cognitive challenge
• Importance of collaboration
• More approaches to improving comprehension
• Session 3: Developing Questioning Skills
• Session 4: Developing Predicting, clarifying and summarising: A toolkit
• Further applications of RT methodology
• Session 5: Recall session
• Opportunities to share good practice and resources and to reflect on the use of the
approach with pupils
• 17.5 CPD hours
• 7 ½ contact hours
• 10 hours on tasks
Aims of Session 1
• Provide an overview of Reciprocal
- Introduction to the 4 key strategies
- Explain how the strategies are integrated
into a Reciprocal Teaching lesson
• Foster enough confidence for you to go
away and give it a go.
Workshop 1: Teaching Comprehension
• What / how do you teach comprehension?
• To what effect?
• Identify potential barriers?
The Teaching of Comprehension: The
Findings of Hall et al (1999)
Hall et al found that, in a study of 12 classrooms, lessons:
• Were characterised by the use of worksheets / workbooks
• Contained limited reference to the specific strategies used in
• Were dictated by teachers
• Contained limited teacher / pupil interaction
• Were low in motivational demands
• Offered little opportunity for learners to reflect on their learning
• Provided questions which were literal in nature
• Emphasised outcome rather than process
• Offered little in terms of cognitive and metacognitive demands
What is Reciprocal Teaching?
• RT is a framework for teaching the skills necessary
for good comprehension
• It is dialogue based.
• Initially, the teacher acts as the facilitator - modelling
the use of 4 key strategies to the pupils
• Gradually, with teacher support, pupils’ confidence
and competency will increase and adult input will
• The eventual aim is that the pupils will be able to
The 4 Strategies
Competent readers sub-consciously use a number of strategies
to monitor and aid comprehension
RT works by making these strategies explicit to learners.
• Discuss given strategy with your group
and try to say why it is an important
strategy for developing comprehension.
• Choose an expert from your group who
will take your views to another group.
• Gives the reader a purpose to read on in order
to check out their predictions
• Encourages pupils to utilise knowledge
previously acquired in reading the text (when
making predictions part way through the story)
• Provides a mechanism for monitoring
comprehension (i.e. were my predictions correct,
and if not why not)
• Allows readers to pick out the main points
in the text
• Introduces children to different kinds of
questions, which in turn should help them
• Trains pupils to monitor their comprehension
(rather than just reading blindly)
• Permits children to admit to not understanding a
• Develops skills so that pupils can decipher the
meanings of unfamiliar words or phrases
• This is the ultimate test of whether
a pupil has fully understood the
passage – an extremely difficult
skill to master
Professor P. Brain and the Magic Potion
Author: Mary Mullen
Illustrated by: Joe Jenkins
• Generate predictions about this story. Make
predictions about the character(s), the genre,
the plot, the setting.
• Highlight evidence used to make the predictions
Discuss in pairs / small groups
Workshop 4: Clarifying
• Read passage
• Which words / phrases might pupils flag
up as unfamiliar?
• What strategies do we use, as adults, to
figure out the meanings of unfamiliar
words / phrases?
What does a classic RT lesson look
• Small group of children
• One pupil acts as a “teacher”. They lead the group
through a structured dialogue discussing each of the 4
strategies outlined in turn
• Step 1 – “Teacher” begins by asking group members Predicting Questioning
to make predictions about what they are about to read
• Step 2 – “Teacher” reads a small section of text to the
group or pupils read the section on their own
• Step 3 – “Teacher” facilitates the generation of
• Step 4 – Group are asked by the “teacher” to list
unfamiliar words or phrases or to outline sections of
the text that they are unsure of. Group work together
to clarify the meanings of the identified words and
• Step 5 – “Teacher” asks a pupil / pupils to summarise
the piece of text that has just been read Summarising Clarifying
• Step 6 – The cycle begins again. Pupils are asked, by
the “teacher”, to make predictions about the next
section of text before going on to read it.
What can Reciprocal Teaching
• A structure for teaching the skills required for enhanced
• Easy to resource
• Can be used across the curriculum
• Can be used for whole class lessons, group activities or for
• Effective for pupils of almost all abilities including those of lower
to average ability
• A mechanism for assessing comprehension skills and
identifying areas for development
• HMIe hold it up as an example of good practice
• RT is not, however, a quick fix
What can RT offer learners?
• Most pupils enjoy RT
• Opportunities to develop their comprehension
• Comprehension not associated with having to
write a million sentences
• Opportunities for peer and adult support to
• Opportunities to be active learners
• Method 1 – Straight in – introduce all strategies in one go. Use
the approach in day to day teaching (whole class or at reading
group time) with you, as teacher, acting as a model. Slowly
hand over responsibility to the pupils
• Method 2 – Systematically teach each strategy one-by-one and
then pull the strategies together
• Method 3 - A combination of 1 & 2! Introduce all the strategies
together and then, through the use of careful assessment, use
standalone lessons to build on pupils’ skills.
Over the next couple of weeks…
• Introduce the idea of Reciprocal Teaching to pupils with
the class or, if you prefer, with one group that you’ll work
with over a number of weeks
• Discuss all the strategies each time.
• When modelling – share your thought processes
- give praise and immediate feedback
• Encourage pupils to use the language of RT explicitly
• Be interactive! Involve pupils as much as possible.
• Record findings in your log book
Have I got the time?
• No …….. if you use it as an “add-on” to an
already crowded curriculum!
• Yes ……. if you use it as part of your on-
going comprehension teaching or as part
of your group reading programme