Reading comprehension is such an important skill and many students continue to have difficulty with it. Some students can decode words, but have a hard time understanding what they read.
Students at all grade levels need strategies to understand words that are unclear and ideas that come across when they are reading.
This school year we have been starting to use Reciprocal Teaching to help build a deeper understanding of what students are reading.
This technique is built on 4 strategies that readers can use to comprehend text
Predicting, Questioning, Clarifying and Summarizing. Research shows that students who engage in reciprocal teaching improve their reading levels and also retain more of the material covered in the text.
This strategy has been used in the higher grades with paragraph passages. Since I teach at a much different level I needed to figure out a way to make it relevant to the needs of my students.
To start off, I made some anchor charts to help teach the vocabulary of the 4 strategies.
We spent a few days going over what each of these strategies mean. To work on Predicting we used this dice game. Students would just look at the cover of a book and answer these questions.
I used this dice game whole group and during reading centers. Then my students needed to fill out a response sheet so I could check for understanding
Next came questioning. We have practiced this skill many times during our class read aloud but, now I want to teach my students how to form questions. I model how to ask thinking or discussion type questions. Questioning motivates students to think deeply about the text. During reciprocal teaching students can “be the teacher” as they come up with questions to ask one another. I created this cue card to help students do just that.
Clarifying is more that just figuring out difficult words in a text. I also want students to know how to “fix” problems they are having while understanding the text they are reading.
During small group instruction, we have been using these charts to help us identify what we can do to understand words and text. Students will use this chart to fill out during reading time
The last step is summarization.There are many ways to do this-
recalling important events, putting events in order or identifying elements of the story. We started off with identify beginning, middle and end using this foldable
We used this to help us retell the story we had read
To help remember ALL these stragegies I made a book mark for my students to keep with them at all times