Test-taking Strategies

May 18, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Social Science, Psychology, Educational Psychology
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Developing a “plan of attack” to incorporate reading strategies. Students need to develop strategic reading behavior and build a strong, personal repertoire of reading strategies so that they can successfully use them when needed. Encouraging students to use effective reading test taking strategies will assist them with their comprehension on the FCAT 2.0 Reading Test.

Scaffolding the language for ESL Learners All learning areas place literacy demands on learners. The language of tests may include new or unfamiliar words for ESL learners and the meanings need to be made explicit to these students. Teachers should consider some strategies to allow ESL learners to access the language of the questions. Provide opportunities for learner repetition and practice of target language.

Scaffold oral language thoroughly before setting reading tasks. Accept the language offered by the learners and with positive feedback, model the Standard English version. Introduce the new terminology together with concrete activities, e.g. synonyms - have students create flash cards with a variety of synonyms. In groups students use the cards to play ‘Snap’ Encourage learners to rephrase the questions in a format that is familiar to them but still has the same meaning.

Understanding that text features such as italics, bold print headings and subheadings, captions and labels convey meaning, and help readers get an overview of the selection’s genre, text structure, main ideas, purpose, etc. is important.

Preview the text and its features (headings, words in bold print, pictures/charts with captions). Give the text a quick read over for anything that jumps out at you “skim & scan”.

Teaching the meaning of words or phrases that are found in comprehension questions is critical in helping students make sense of what is being asked.

According to Information Attitudes Interpret Author Italics Best In what order Caption Judgment Cues Key words/factor Definition Label Describe Main message Extract Main idea Effect Match Expressions Means Find evidence from Most likely the text generated Identify Opinion Illustrator Paragraph Indicates Phrase Infer Purpose Question

Refers to Relates to Represents Sequence Shows Statement means Suggests Sub-heading Symbol Techniques Text Theme Title Tone Vocabulary Valid reason What is another word for …

Read over the questions, read them one at a time without answering them. Circle key words, phrases, and/or names in the question that require you to look for specific information in the passage.

Predicting what the text is about helps to orientate the reader. Making Predictions encourages active reading and keep students in tuned to what they are reading. Incorrect predictions can signal a misunderstanding that needs to be clarified.

Go back to the text. Begin reading the text starting with the title. Read over all the text features, including the author’s name, any information giving the author’s credentials, footnotes, captions, etc. Make a prediction about what you think the text is about. Write it to the side of the selection’s title. Remember to go back and clarify your prediction if necessary after reading the entire selection.

Title Caption

Subheading Map

CHUNKING the text makes the demands on the reader’s memory more manageable. Writing key words in the margin by reflecting on each paragraph or sub-section and identifying key messages or key words at the end of each paragraph or sub-section is a useful and effective reading strategy. Using these key words or phrases to assist in locating information when answering questions is also very helpful.

Divide the text into smaller chunks to make it easier to read and understand. It may be helpful to draw a line after each section you chunk. Read each chunked section and write a few words about it, a gist, or what that section is about. Circle key words, phrases, or names that you remember from the questions you previously previewed. It is important to take marginal notes to help you connect with what you are reading as you move through the selection. These notes will be useful in helping you locate information in the text, when answering questions about the selection you have read .

The author realizes that she has mistaken a school of sea lions for snorkelers

Melina B. editor and chief N.G. vac. to Galapagos Island

Animals on G.I. not afraid of human contact b/c its rare

Visualizing what is being read creates mental pictures in the minds of readers. Visualization helps readers engage with text in ways that make it personal and memorable.

Create a mental picture in your mind of what you have read. Try to connect the information you have read with your prior knowledge. Remember all the information you need to answer the questions is found implicitly or explicitly in the text.

Recognizing the Author’s purpose, Perspective, or Intent is important in understanding the Essential Message.

When you have finished reading the selection, write the Main Idea or Essential Message of the overall selection above the title. Galapagos Islands’ wildlife is important and should be protected. (M.I.)

Galapagos Islands’ wildlife is important and should be protected. M.I.

Teaching strategies to assist students in answering different types of the reading questions is an effective test taking technique. Students require a range of skills when answering reading comprehension questions. Developing strategies to assist students with managing all of the reading processes will enable them to identify and understand explicitly what the question’s cognitive demand is.

Questions on FCAT are categorized by cognitive complexity: Low Moderate High complexity Based on Webb’s Depth of Knowledge

Questions with low cognitive complexity:  One-step

problem  Require only a basic understanding of text  Comprise only 10-20% of FCAT  “Right there” answers (QAR)  Recall questions (who, what, where, when, why), retelling, summarizing

Questions with moderate cognitive complexity:  Two-step process  Require some inference  Comprise 50-70% of FCAT  Answers are “between the lines”  Think and Search (QAR)  Author and Me (QAR)

Questions with high cognitive complexity:  Require

several steps  Require complex inferences across texts  Comprise 20-30% of FCAT  Answers are “beyond the lines”  Author and Me (QAR)  On My Own (QAR)

 QAR—Question-Answer

Relationships Strategy that that allows students to see the relationships between the type of question asked, the text, and the reader’s prior knowledge.

 Students

learn how to distinguish questions with answers that are found “in the book” (Text Explicit questions) and questions with answers that are found “in my head” (Text Implicit questions).

QAR In-the-Text Questions 

Right There Questions

Think and Search Questions

The answer is in the text; The words used in the question and the words used for the answer can usually be found in the same sentence.

The answer is in the text, but the words used in the question and those used for the answer are NOT in the same sentence. The student needs to think about different parts of the text and how ideas can be put together before answering the question.

In-My-Head Questions

 Author

and You Questions

On My Own Questions

 The

 The

answer is not explicitly in the text. The student must think about what he/she knows, what the author says, and how they fit together.

answer is not in the text. The answer is based on the reader’s own experiences and background knowledge.

 Right


 Level

1 Knowledge

Information in the text

 Think

and Search Information in several places in text

 Level

 Author

and me

2 Comprehension and Level 3 Application

Information both in and out of text

 Level  On

My Own

4 Analysis and Level 5 Synthesis

Information NOT in the text but from background knowledge

 Level

6 Evaluation

Introduce QAR using a visual aid and a short selection to demonstrate the relationships. Model identifying and answering questions at each level of QAR. With teacher guidance, students practice identifying and answering questions at each of the levels. Students apply QAR to the reading of their regular texts. For younger students or struggling readers, teachers introduce and practice one level at a time before introducing the next level.

 Students’

understanding and recall can be shaped by the types of questions to which they become accustomed (Duke and Pearson, 2002)  Students’ generation of their own questions about text improves overall comprehension (Yopp, 1988; Raphael and Pearson, 1985)

Read each question carefully to make sure you understand what it is asking you to do. Try to determine what steps, task or thought processes the question requires in order to locate the correct answer in the text. Look back at the text and find where the correct information is located. Use your marginal notes to help you quickly find the section(s ) that the answer is most likely in. Underline the answers in the article. Next read all the answer choices before choosing an answer. Eliminate any answer choices that you know are wrong. Watch out for distracters. Choose the best answer from among the remaining choices that is supported by evidence in the selection.


Distracters may include: incorrect reliability of information

Distracters may include: •

Incorrect inference or conclusion or not the MAIN one

Distracters may include: 

Incorrect analysis of information

Distracters may include: Answers that are correct but not the best choice:

Distracters may include; 

Incorrect method of development

Distracters may include: 

Incorrect causes or effects

Distracters may include: o

Wrong statements of author’s purpose

Distracters may include: 

Incorrect synthesis of information from multiple sources:

Distracters may include: 

Meaning of a word, but not, as used in context

Remember there is no substitute for good teaching. Infusing Effective Reading Strategies across the curriculum, throughout the school year is the best way to ensure that students are prepared for success on the FCAT Reading Test. More importantly, it is the best way to ensure they become life long proficient readers.

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