Hi friends! This blog is for teachers and families- all for the sheer joy of literacy. When we are enthusiastic about reading and writing our students and our own kids become excited to read and write. I hope that we all can be models for those in our care- how did you show your passion for reading, writing, learning, language, or words today?? It's in those small, daily moments that we teach kids to love literacy.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Teaching Tipster: Teaching Questioning to Improve Comprehension

After working with my students with this reciprocal teaching framework for the past month, I realized that they need a lot more explicit teaching on questioning.

I really like the questioning model presented in Jan Richardson's The Next Step in Guided Reading. Her model is based in the QAR  (Question-Answer-Relationship) model, but it's more explicit and gives sentence frames to better guide students.  Sentence frames are essential learning tools for my ELL students, but are helpful for every student.
I first introduced my interevention students to GO (literal, right there) questions. These questions start with Who, What, When, Where, and HowStudents can go directly to the text to find the answer to these questions. I modeled GO questions with a shared reading of the students' leveled text. Then, after some practice together, the students began asking literal questions with an instructional-leveled text.    

After practice with the GO questions, I introduced my students to STOP questions, or inferrential questioning. These questions are not directly answered in the text, but students have to use background knowledge, or the inferences from text to find come to an answer. These questions start with What if...?, I wonder why...?, What would happen if..?, Why would..?, How could...? Why do you think?... Again I modeled how to ask these questions, and began with teaching the sentence frame, I wonder why...?

I haven't yet introduced my students to SLOW DOWN questions. They need to become more proficient with GO and RED questions, before I introduce them to these more complex questions. For these questions students have to look more than on place in the text to find the answers to their questions. SLOW DOWN questions are cause/effect, compare/comtrast questions.

This model is especially helpful for my students as English Language Learners. They struggle with knowing how to start questions. The sentence frames give the students the academic language they need to ask questions.

Knowing about question-answer relationships allows the students to find answers to the questions their teacher (or the test!) is asking them. Do they go to the text? Do the make an inference? When you teach your students different question types, it helps them to know how to both ask and answer questions. Knowing how to answer to question well, also dramatically improves students' ability to comprehend a text.

If you don't have this Jan Richardson book, you should get it. She has great ideas to improve guided reading.


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