As mentioned previously, “In my classroom we are all about explicit strategies… Reading and writing strategies are taught early on in the school year, and then we continuously spiral them throughout the year as students dive deeper and deeper into how to leverage them effectively. This approach to teaching and learning provides everyone with a common language, which helps in stimulating collaboration amongst students and a positive classroom culture. (This method is even more beneficial when the same strategies are utilized across multiple classrooms and grade levels.)”
While an earlier post details our strategy for open-ended responses to texts, here is a look at Pigs Rock And Roll, which is what my students use when they have to read texts and then answer multiple-choice questions.
- Preview the story. Do everything you can do without actually reading it!
(This involves reading the questions first, looking at the title, author, pictures, captions, etc.)
- Read the story. Check off possible answers as you go!
(When students see a possible answer, they “bookmark” it with a quick check mark in the margin.)
- Answer the questions. Underline and number the answers in the story!
(This way, the students are explicitly connecting each answer with its evidence.)
- Reread the story if you are having trouble!
Initially, the students are expected to be comfortable with all four of these steps. As we get later into the school year, the first and last step are usually stressed as mandatory, while the middle two steps are declared optional (for most students).
Finally, please notice that all four steps can be completed with nothing more than a pencil (as opposed to switching back and forth between a pencil and a highlighter). Highlighting “can actually distract from the business of learning and dilute your comprehension.”
Here is a link to a printable version of the Pigs Rock And Roll poster. Feel free to use it, and make sure to share what strategies your students use for multiple-choice reading comprehension questions.
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