The other day Josh got a math test back and he hadn’t done so hot.
But, I knew that he had studied. In fact, I had helped him study, so I wondered what had gone wrong.
I asked him to bring the test home so we could review it together. When he did, what I saw was he understood the the concepts, but he had messed up because he misread some of the questions. A lot of silly mistakes really.
So, as I help him study for his next test, I am constantly reminding him to read the question closely.
He seems to try to read it closely, but still ends up rushing through it and misunderstanding.
I then suggested is that he read the question and then underline the key words of what he is supposed to do.
Just the act of searching for the key words seems to help him slow down to read the question carefully. Then underlining helps him double check that he is performing the right function.
I think it is a great strategy for tests, and for any assignment. Underlining the key concepts makes sure you are really reading everything, and draws attention to what is really being asked.
If you can read it outloud – even better! The brain likes enlisting the listening channel too when reading tough things.
I know these strategies work with students at higher grades (as I encourage them with my University clients).
Let’s just see if they work for Grade 4 kids too!