Reciprocal Teaching

Imbedding accountable talk in all aspects of learning


My original plan for The Independent Study Project involved metacognition and self-evaluation. After careful reading, analysis and reflection of the study Know Thy Impact by Hattie (2009) used in Visible Learning: An Introduction, Grades 1-12 (Peel District School Board) (2013), I was surprised to learn that Hattie’s analysis deemed classroom discussions (7th) and Reciprocal Teaching (11th) as top strategies promoting student success.

Having sufficient understanding and experience of creating metacognitively aware students, I have turned my attention to Reciprocal Teaching and Classroom Discussions. Inspired by Lucy West Lectures on Accountable Talk and collaborating with Katie Biffis, a colleague and a co-learner, I have changed the focus of my inquiry.

Hearing Lucy West’s statement about the need for students to be able to clarify their misconceptions, I have noticed a connection between Accountable Talk and Reciprocal Reaching. I made a further connection between the four strategies of Reciprocal Teaching, Predicting, Questioning, Clarifying and Summarizing to all subjects taught in school: Mathematics as well as content based subjects such as Science.


The participants of Professional Learning Community (PLC) will begin a Living Journal (Serafini 2006). While participating in the discussion, teachers may record their reflections, pose questions. A several pauses strategically built into discussion will allow the participants to switch their journals and respond to the entries of their peers. They may choose to continue the discussion, answer questions or ask further questions using Accountable Talk Prompts posted prior to the session.

A brief explanation of Reciprocal Teaching and Accountable Talk will open the session for Professional Learning Community. Each strategy will be defined and explained how to teach it to the students. Accountable Talk will be defined and explanation will be offered how to fit it into Reciprocal Teaching and how both Reciprocal Teaching and Accountable Talk can be a part of Comprehensive Literacy. To strengthen reading comprehension, a reading – writing connection will be implemented in various forms as an extension to the strategies. To further deepen and accelerate student learning, Reciprocal Teaching and Accountable Talk will be applies in all subject areas such as Math. In this session, it will be made transparent how Activating Prior Knowledge, Asking Questions, Clarifying and Summarising can work in other content based subjects such as Social Studies.

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