"The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves." -- John Adams

"No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution." -- Indiana Constitution Article 1, Section 6.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilisation, it expects what never was and never will be...nor can they be safe with them without information. Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe." – Thomas Jefferson

Study Skills for Elementary Aged Students

SQ3R for Elementary Students

SQ3R is an acronym for a study skills method that stands for Survey, Question, Read, Recite and Review. If you study, using the five parts in order, you will gain more from your studying and do better on tests, class participation, etc.

When I started as a Resource Teacher at my school it didn't take me long to recognize that most of the students with whom I worked were having difficulty studying. Sometimes it was because the material was too difficult for them...but often it was because they didn't know how to study. The older students had trouble with materials in the content areas...primary students had trouble following a story, or understanding the purpose of reading a non-fiction selection.

I used SQ3R with small groups of sixth graders and had some success, but concepts such as Survey and Recite were too difficult for younger students. So I altered SQ3R to make it more appropriate for younger students.

After some research and a little trial and error I found and adapted two study techniques for elementary students. The two methods, one for fiction, and one for non-fiction, can be used with students from grades 2 through 6. I have found them to be easy for students to learn and effective as a study tool. For primary students I usually spend ten or more lessons teaching them how to use each method. Here they are:

PART
(for use with non-fiction)

Preview the material. Read the questions or any other exercises that accompany the section to be read. Look for new vocabulary words. Read the headings and titles within the section. Look at maps, charts or pictures and read the captions.

Ask Questions before reading. This is to make sure that the students are setting a purpose for reading. This spurs them to think about what they already know about the topic (Activating Prior Knowledge). Encourage them to think of some questions of their own.

Read with those purpose-setting questions in mind. Read to find the answers to the questions and the answers to any exercises from Step 1.

Tell about the reading by answering the questions from Step 1 and Step 2.

SIP
(for use with fiction)

Summarize the content of each page, or section of the text. This can be done orally or on paper. Use question words to help; who? what? when? where? why? how?

Imaging is important because it reminds the students to form an internal visual display of content encountered while reading. It is economical since it adds no time to the reading task, and it provides a second imprint of the text’s content.

Predict while reading. Students should stop after each page (or section) in the text and predict what might happen next. This step helps to pique the reader’s interest. With luck many will want to read more to verify their prediction.

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Use these techniques with your entire class the next time you read a story or chapter of a book together. You will find that they are better prepared to read and can remember more of what they read.

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