How to Implement Reciprocal Teaching in Your Classroom

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Description

Reciprocal teaching involves having learners facilitate their small group lessons. It is usually utilized in reading lessons. The instructor first models how to guide group discussions before sending learners off to promote their lesson. In groups of four, learners usually take the roles of questioner, clarifier, summarizer, and predictor. Learners read stimulus materials then self-facilitate a group discussion about the text.

Advantages

  • Learners learn self-regulation skills, which are essential for later in their lives.
  • When learners are empowered, the classes work very effectively, and the instructor can fade into the background.
  • Learners learn group work, communication, and negotiation skills.
  • Learners learn to be mature even when the instructor isn’t looking. By taking on responsibility as “instructors,” learners must rise to the challenge.

Disadvantages

  • Requires a lot of pre-teaching, so learners have the skills needed for these lessons to work.

Implementation

  1. The instructor must model the four roles required in front of the whole class, with several volunteers acting as the demonstration group.
  2. The instructor assigns groups and the four group roles: questioner, clarifier, summarizer, and predictor.
  3. When learners do the activity in small groups for the first time, the instructor must walk the learners through the steps. Utilize a bell or similar audible cue for cycling learners through the group work steps.
  4. Allow the learners to work in independent groups—walk around and help groups who are struggling.

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