Reciprocal Reading

As I mentioned in a previous post I are going through the assessment phase with my current class. This year for the first time I have trialled a new reading strategy. The results have been outstanding with almost every child making 2 sub levels progress in the year.


The approach is called reciprocal reading

Below is some information about it,

Students use a set of four comprehension strategies on a common text, in pairs or small groups.

Reciprocal Reading was developed in the mid-1980s by reading researchers Ann Brown and Ann-Marie Palincsar. Also called reciprocal teaching, it is a set of four strategies taught to struggling readers, primarily to develop their comprehension monitoring abilities. In pairs or small groups, participants sharing a common text take turns assuming the roles of teacher and student. After explicit instruction from a knowledgeable teacher, students engage in the following sequence:

the group then makes a prediction about future content.

the group discusses and clarifies remaining difficulties in understanding.

The group members then pose questions that focus on main ideas.

the group members then summarizes the content.

Why has this worked?

For me the main reason that this method has worked is that the children don’t see this as a comprehension activity.

But why?

For me the answer is the scheme is set up and based around talk.

The scheme focuses on getting the children to verbalise their ideas first and all good teachers know that if children can say it correctly then they stand a good chance of write it correctly.

Also the scheme is broken down in manageable section of text. You are not expected to read a whole chapter and answer question about that, the sections are a maximum of 400 words and the analysis of this section take a whole 1 hour lesson, so children are taught the skills of in-depth discuss and analysis.

Overall this approach has benefited us as a school and I am very thankful as it has really brought many of my reluctant readers on.

The results speak for themselves, and this is definitely a reading intervention that I intend to continue next year


9 thoughts on “Reciprocal Reading

  1. I too have introduced reciprocal reading to my class this year and it has gone down really well. It is only a recent way of working for us so may not have had a profound effect yet. However, I will be teaching it to my new class in September in the hope that they will soon be leading their own reading sessions. My current class are already doing this. As well as the four roles you mention, we also have a ‘Big Boss’ whose role is to lead the group and choose the text. They are already asking me to photocopy texts they have chosen to read and discuss if there are not enough copies of books. Reciprocal reading is a powerful way of learning the strategies associated with becoming a good reader.

  2. I introduced reciprocal reading in Spetember too. Range of +1 sub level to +4 sublevels. I don’t know if this is all down to RR, because those that have made the most progress are those children who have spent the most time reading and writing on blogs for quadblogging. Similar picture for increase in writing levels +1 to +3 – trend is boys making most progress, but also started at a lower level than girls.

    1. Agreed. My class haven’t taken to the Quadblogging idea yet… will try again next year and maybe the new cohort will find it interesting!!
      Thanks for your comments and sharing your successes

  3. I have a 4-yr-o granddaughter in JK right now. She’s RIPE to start spelling. I showed her a street STOP sign and made a song of it. It’s her favourite word. Now I feel obligated to teach her new 2-3-letter words because she’s EAGER and open to learn.Is this how it works? To be there when the door open?

    A grandmother

    1. This really works… I went on a full day training course run by Leicester City council and it was the best course I have been on because I could relate every aspects to my teaching!
      Thanks for your comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s