Thursday, January 19, 2012


I hate to say it, but we're quickly approaching the end of the year assessments, in my case FCAT! I know many teachers at my school teach the QAR strategies early in the year. This encourages the students to use and feel comfortable with the strategy.

But, I'm getting ahead of myself. QAR strategies teach students explicitly the relationships between comprehension questions and answers. It categorizes the questions/answers into 2 overall groups: In the Book and In My Head.

In the Book kinds of questions can be answered, you guessed it, in the book! It may not be a "book" per say, but the answer can be found directly in the text. The answer may be in one section of the text, or in several sections that the student must summarize to get the overall idea.

In My Head kinds of questions must be answered by using details from the text, combined with the student's prior knowledge, to infer or predict a response. These are your Higher Order Thinking questions. They get the student to go beyond what was in the text and bring in their own thinking, schema, and connections.

Using the QAR, students are able to identify the type of questions being asked and are able to determine HOW to answer the question. I have my students use this strategy along side another acronym: RURLUS "Are You Reading Like You Should".

R- Read the questions
U- Underline key words
R- Read the text
L- Look for key words and phrases
U- Underline clues in the text
S- Select the best answer

When they read and underline key words in the questions first, they are identifying the Question and Answer Relationship (the QAR)! Then, as they read the text, they make marginal notes and underline important information or key terms that will help them in answering the questions to come. 

Hope you and your kiddos get good use out of the bookmarks! I am planning on taping them to my students' desks as a constant reference and reminder to use the thinking strategies and test taking skills.


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