Use of Reciprocal Teaching Style

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Description – A pair of students are given a task card describing the progression of the skill. While the doer is performing the skill, the observer is providing immediate, constructive and positive feedback. The teacher is available to answer the observer’s questions and provides the observer with feedback. This style is good for both doer and observer, for as the doer is receiving constant feedback, the observer is learning through observation.

When used – This style is used when it is important to have immediate feedback through social interaction. Within this unit, the reciprocal style will be used when introducing the grip, the ready position, and the spin.
Reason for using this style – This style will be used because it allows more time for the teacher to circulate around the gymnasium and provide further feedback to the observer. This teaching style is also used because the tasks are quite simple; therefore, the feedback is most likely to be correct.
Strengths – One of the strengths of the reciprocal style is that it allows for continuous feedback. Also, the students who are observing will be able to learn from watching and correcting their partner’s mistakes. Social skills are also greatly enhanced by the interaction between the students.
Weakness – One of the weaknesses that occur in this teaching style is that the feedback offered to the students may not always be accurate.
Using reciprocal teaching appeared to have a positive effect on the student’s learning, ability to evaluate and provide feedback. There was a lot of activity within the class because nobody was waiting for further instruction. Their partner was providing feedback and new goals so therefore the students were always on task. However, in the first lesson the students did not use the cards frequently and so therefore did not know how to evaluate the performance, this lead to boredom and low level behaviour issues. When it was explained to the class the importance of the criteria sheet to feedback and skill competency all of the students participated in using the resources. The students in general picked skills that were relevant to their skill ability; however some students had to be encouraged to pick skills that were slightly harder as the students were already comfortable performing at that level. The two stars and a wish evaluation tool was a success as students cared what their partner wrote on the form.

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This feedback provided them with a goal for the next lesson and encouraged the students to think about evaluation and providing good feedback in relation to the resources provided.
How successful was the learning
From observing the class and evaluating the resources and two stars and a wish evaluation form it as evident that learning was successful students engaged with the reciprocal teaching task and were able to look at the performance, break down the performance using the resources provided, pick appreciate and evaluate (pick out two good aspects and one fault) and then provide constructive feedback to their partner.
Evidence
The evidence of learning within evaluating and appreciating was shown in the quality of feedback that the pupils provided their partners on the two stars and a wish form. In the first week pupils were providing very general feedback and did not provide specific criteria of the skills. Pupils would provide feedback such as “handstand was straight” and “they held the hand stand for a long time. They did not provide specific feedback. By week four pupils were producing more specific feedback showing a deeper knowledge of the skills and more developed critical thinking skills. By week four pupils were more engaged in the peer assessment forms looking at the criteria of the skills.
The improvement of the pupil’s social skills became more apparent as the lessons went on. In the first lesson the majority of time was taken up by the pupils finding a partner that they were willing to work with and a large amount of time was given to explaining the tasks and showing pupils how to use the criteria sheet and feedback forms. However by lesson three and four the pupils were getting in to pairs quickly, and got on with the task as soon as they entered the class. It could be observed that the pupil’s communication and observation skills had improved as pupils were able to give and receive feedback when using the structure of two stars and a wish.
The evidence of skill development was the tick sheet used to show how many skills the pupils could perform. By the end of the four lessons the pupils could perform most of the basic floor and flight skills which would give them a larger repertoire of skill to put into their final routine.
Discussion
The use of reciprocal teaching style encouraged the pupils to become more responsible for their own learning and more involved in the learning process (Noonan & Duncan, 2005). The reciprocal teaching style developed the pupil’s observation skills. Pupils were able to watch their partner’s performance and compare their performance to set criteria and provide feedback. This in turn developed the observer’s knowledge about the skill (Byra & Marks, 1993). This was expected as literature suggests that because reciprocal teaching is one pupil teach another pupil a skill the pupils would take more ownership of their learning. Reciprocal teaching develops group work and communication whilst enhancing skill accusation (Mosston & Ashworth, 2002).
The use of peer assessment was also successful in developing the pupil’s ability to work in pairs and communication skills (Boud , Cohen , & Sampson, 1999). By using the set criteria they were able to use their observation skills and think critically. The pupils were able to provide feedback to their partner who in turn developed their communication skills, the pupils were able to provide and receive feedback (Byra & Marks, 1993). It was expected that the use of peer assessment would be a successful task to not only to develop socialising and communication but also skill development. It has been acknowledged that pupils skill development would increase due to the immediate individual feedback provided after a performance (Johnson, Peer Assessments in Physical Education, 2004). By looking at the skills tick sheet it can be seen that pupils were able to complete almost all of the basic floor and flight skills.
The use of check sheet allowed the students to see the distance that they had travelled in term of motor skills. The students could see an improvement in their own skills which made them more confident with gymnastics. Literature surrounding confidence and participation shows that when there is a higher confidence in physical activity students are more likely to participate in sport later in life and are more confident trying new sports and making friends within sporting environments; this is due to an increase in self-worth and self-esteem.
The students enjoyed working in pairs to improve their gymnastics, this gave them a social responsibility, and they were responsible for their partner but also their own performance. Student’s tried hard to improve their skills in order to please and gain approval from their peer. Students tend to care heavily about the opinion of their peers and therefore will try hard to please the person teaching them the skill. Literature is in agreement with this …..
In the most part, pupils’ choosing their own partner was successful; the majority of the class were able to choose a different partner every week. However some of the pairings weren’t acceptable due to certain pupils not being able to work productively together. These pupils had to be told who they should work with in order to stop classroom disturbances and misbehaviour.
Giving the students a two stars and a wish format allowed the students to have structure when providing feedback. Literature investigating peer feedback often evidences the fact that the students find it difficult to stay on task or fail to cover the important aspects of the task or can give incorrect feedback (Byra & Marks, 1993). The two stars and a wish eradicated this problem as the students were aware of the criteria of the task as well as the type of feedback required. This allowed the student to provide more in-depth feedback which in turn allowed students to develop their motor skills more quickly.
Through the use of discussion the pupils highlighted that they enjoyed working with their friends and being able to choose the people that they work with. The pupils also highlighted that they enjoyed being able to choose which skill they wanted to work on instead of the teacher deciding, and how long they spent on the one skill.
Conclusion
The four gymnastics lessons aimed to develop the pupils evaluating and appreciating skills along with their communication, and critical thinking skills.
The use of reciprocal teaching style allowed pupils to take responsibility for their own learning and their partners learning. The use of peer assessment developed the pupil’s critical thinking and problem solving skills and allowed the pupils to develop their communication skills as they had to provide their partner with feedback on what was good about their performance and what they could do to make it better. By providing immediate quality feedback pupils will be able to have more time to practice and refine their skills.



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