I'd like to think I've been doing meaningful reading work the whole year and that it will shine on our state standardized test next month. The reality- some of the expectations and processes expected of my third graders don't always seem to properly translate over on a test (or any standardized test for that matter). So, we use the 3 weeks before the test to hone our skills and learn some testing strategies to try to make our skills radiate! I'm already so proud of my kiddos trying so hard to prove their learning and growth... and I hope they know that.

Anyways, I'm getting off track. Back to the post!

So! To help my students be careful readers, we've really been focused on the QAR strategy, or the Question Answer Relationship strategy. This is something I would start at the beginning next year, because like a lot of the skills we teach during our test prep, this skill is a great one we can use anytime reading for school and preparing to share about our books.

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To make a long post short, we use this strategy after we are done reading. We look at the written questions at the end of the passage or on our Reading A-Z quizzes and we pick them apart, looking for key words that give us clues as to what type of question it is. We created this chart today to help us figure out the different types of questions:

"Go" questions are right there questions, meaning, we can go right in the text to figure them out. We discovered that typically, the 5 W's are these types of questions. "Slow Down" questions are think and search questions, meaning, the answer is over a few parts of our reading and we are searching for connections. We discovered a lot of event type questions, cause and effect, compare and contrast, and problem/solution questions fall in this category. Lastly is the "Stop" questions, which are author and you questions, meaning, we create an idea using our knowledge and we stop to find evidence from the text to support it. We discovered these are our letatoes (inferences- see the post here on how they got their name) and main idea and detail questions. We later added some other post-its after looking at sample questions: word meaning questions are often right there in the text (meaning- they have to go find the word in the text and use it in context) and when it asks us to judge or evaluate something as the "most important" or "best" types of questions.

Once we discussed the different things we answer questions about, we tested out our new skills with some sample questions from an old test. (These are screenshots of some of our SMARTboard slides which is why the format looks a little funky.)

Step1: We read the question and highlighted key words that ground our focus.
Step 2: We then discussed these words and what type of signal it might show us for the type of answer that is related to it. We wrote them next to the stop light to help us visualize.

We noticed that in this question, all of our keywords are pretty much "right there" signal words. Thus, this question is one we can go back and find the answer right in the test (that is tomorrow's job- today was strictly identifying and categorizing the words).

Some had a few words in more than one category. We then discussed what type of question this is to help us. We realized that this question is asking about cause and effect as well sequencing, which means we need to go search.

For this last one, I had them pick the key words on their own and categorized them to determine the type of question. Then we reviewed it together at the end of Reader's Workshop. Many were confused on the "most important" words and what type of signal they give us. We realized that these words are making us, the reader, make a decision based on the text. So, this question is an author and you even though some of the other words fit in the other categories.

By no means did I execute this perfectly, but we came back to our chart to fill in the blank at the bottom and the biggest take-away I wanted them to realize: you HAVE to support your answer by going into the text. We'll see if that translates into tomorrow's work when we predict the answers before looking at them, go find our evidence, then make a choice! I'll keep ya posted! :)


1 comment

  1. I love how you connected QAR questions to a stoplight! And, of course, I am in LOVE with that anchor chart, Kelli!


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