Math 3-6

Systems Change
Math 3-6 > Strategies > Reciprocal Teaching

Reciprocal Teaching


Students deepen their understanding and gain confidence in their learning when they explain to and receive feedback from others. Research has shown that students can develop their math skills and their Social Awareness & Relationship Skills by taking on the roles of coach and player as they explore math concepts and problems with a partner.

Use It in the Classroom

Watch how these fifth graders use reciprocal teaching to solve word problems. By following the structured process, they build their Mathematical Flexibility and Math Communication.

  • Teachers can provide structured stages (e.g., Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies or PALS) to support students teaching each other. Teachers can also add specific steps to support comprehending and solving math word problems, such as predicting, clarifying, questioning, visualising, connecting, calculating and summarizing. Working with a partner through these stages also offers support for a student's Speed of Processing and Working Memory and developing math vocabulary and reading comprehension.
  • Design It into Your Product

  • Digital tools can provide more reciprocal teachers and learners for students beyond their classroom walls. Digital products can also provide tools for helping students learn how to generate strong questions and to reflect on their experiences with reciprocal teaching.
  • Factors Supported by this Strategy