Wednesday, November 02, 2011

PQ RAR for effective reading

Try the PQ RAR reading-study method as you read or teach your next textbook chapter.

P-First of all, preview the reading selection. Try to limit the reading selection to a manageable size. Overly long chapters, say over six pages for

elementary students, eight for middle school students, twelve for high school students, and sixteen for college students should be "chunked" into manageable

reading sections.

1. Preview the first and last paragraphs of the chapter and the chapter review, if one is provided.

2. Preview all subtitles and any book study helps at the beginning of the chapter.

3. Preview all graphics such as photographs, charts, maps, etc. and their captions.

Q-Secondly, make use of text-based questions to read textbooks effectively.  Good questions produce good answers and significantly increase expository

comprehension. Determining questions before reading provides a purpose for reading, that is-to find the answers as you read.

1. Develop questions from the subtitles and write these down on binder paper or on your computer, skipping lines between each question. Try "What," "How,"

and "Why" question-starters. Avoid the "Who" and "When" questions, as these tend to focus attention on the minor details of expository text.

2. Write down any chapter review questions not covered by your subtitle questions, skipping lines between each question.

R-Read the chapter and "talk to the text" by taking notes in the textbook margins. Use yellow stickies and paste them in the textbook margins, if you can't

write in the textbook. Write down comments, questions, predictions, and connections to other parts of the reading and your own life experiences. List

examples, key details, and important terms with their definitions. Internal monitoring of the author's train of thought and the connection to your own

knowledge and experience increases comprehension as you read textbooks.

A-Answer both the subtitle questions and the book questions as you read. Write down your answers underneath your questions. Don't be concerned if the

textbook did not answer some of your reader-generated questions.

R-Review the questions and answers within the next 24 hours to minimize the effects of the "forgetting cycle." Generate possible test questions and
develop  memory tricks for key concepts and details.

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