How to Increase Higher Order Thinking (H.O.T.), Part 3

Here’s the 3rd part of How to Increase Higher Order Thinking:

Taken directly from Reading

Teach inference

Students should be explicitly taught at a young age how to infer or make inferences. Start with “real life” examples. For example, when a teacher or parent tells a child to put on his coat and mittens or to get the umbrella before going outside, the adult may ask the child what that might mean about the weather outside. When students are a little older, a teacher may use bumper stickers or well-known slogans and have the class brainstorm the inferences that can be drawn from them.

Teach Question-Answer Relationships (QARs)

The Question-Answer Relationships (QARs) technique (Raphael 1986) teaches children to label the type of questions being asked and then to use this information to assist them in formulating the answers. Two major categories of question-answer relationships are taught: (1) whether the answer can be found in the text — “In the Book” questions, or (2) whether the reader must rely on his or her own knowledge — “In My Head” questions.

In the book QARs

Right There:
The answer is in the text, usually easy to find; the words used to make up the questions and words used to answer the questions are Right There in the same sentence.

Think and Search (Putting It Together):
The answer is in the story, but the student needs to put together different parts to find it; words for the questions and words for the answers are not found in the same sentences; they come from different parts of the text.

In my head QARs

Author and You:
The answer is not in the story; the student needs to think about what he/she already knows, what the author tells him/her in the text, and how it fits together.

On My Own:
The answer is not in the story; the student can even answer the question without reading the story; the student needs to use his/her own experience.

The QAR technique helps students become more aware of the relationship between textual information and prior knowledge and enable them to make appropriate decisions about which strategies to use as they seek answers to questions. This technique has proven to be especially beneficial for low-achieving students and those with learning differences in the elementary grades (Raphael 1984; Simmonds 1992).

Clarify the difference between understanding and memorizing

When a student is studying, his parents can make sure that he is not just memorizing, but rather attempting to understand the conceptual content of the subject matter. Parents can encourage the student to talk about concepts in his own words. His parents can also play concept games with him. For example, they can list some critical features and let him try to name the concept.


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