Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tried it Tuesday - Question Strategy

This is my last week of "teaching", so I'm hoping it will be easier to blog starting very soon. However, I don't know what I will blog about because it will be testing, testing, testing for the next three weeks. Then we'll be doing running records and packing up the class.

Anyway, I wanted to participate in Holly's Tried it Tuesday, and I figured a testing strategy would be the perfect "tried-it" to link up with.


Most of us use strategies like "Slash the Trash", "Plug it in", "Prove/Highlight your Answers", "Stop and Jot", etc., but I have a different one you may not do that I want to share today. I don't know about you, but we always have a few questions that look something like this:

Which question is answered in paragraph 3?
  • Why do chickens lay eggs?
  • Is it safe for a chicken to cross the road?
  • Why do we care about a chicken crossing a road?
  • What does this have to do with chickens?
The question should be an easy one to get right, but they are always difficult for my students because it takes so much effort. I use what I have started calling the "question strategy" as a sure-fire way to get these questions right every time. It's simple, really. Students have to go back to paragraph 3 (or whatever) and physically write "no" beside the question if they can't find it in that paragraph OR write the answer to the question beside the correct one. They should only have 1 answer. This also works for the opposites (Which question is NOT answered in paragraph 3?), but they should have 3 answers and one "no". Sometimes the kids get annoyed with me for making them do it, but they always get it right if they follow my advice!

I hope this helps some of you, although I know most of you are already through with testing. Those who are like me and are just beginning, good luck! We start Thursday. Eek!


  1. What an awesome idea to focus on - I can see how that would be tough/confusing for the kiddos.

    Praying for your kiddos (and you!) during testing week!

    Joy in the Journey

  2. Good luck with testing! I'm sure they'll do beautifully! :)
    Brandee @ Creating Lifelong Learners

  3. We used to do that too, until they put the test on the computer. Now I feel like the kids just click and go on. I am really worried about our scores!

    I used to actually have them physically block out the other paragraphs with paper, but we can't even do that anymore!

    Good luck with testing!! We are on week 2 and going into week 3 next week!

    Reading Toward the Stars

  4. I am TOTALLY with you on this one!! We practice going back to the reading and I have them underline the evidence from the text and write the question # in the margin. They HATE it because it takes too long! Our test was impossible to do well on this year without the students CONSTANTLY referring back to the text! Good luck with testing!
    Fourth Grade Flipper