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Friday, September 12, 2014

You Oughta Know About...the 4 R's

Thank you Mrs. McClain for hosting this blog hop once again! I'm always happy to participate.

This month I'd like to share an effective reading strategy I've been using for long I forgot where I initially heard about it. I've had success with this strategy with first-graders up through fifth-graders. While it is good for any text, I find it especially helpful for nonfiction. It's called 4 R's. 


Sounds way too simple, right? Have students read a short portion of text (independently, with a partner, all doesn't matter). Next they cover the section with their hand. The third step is the most important: they silently remember what they just read about. I usually give them 5-10 seconds of remembering time, depending on the complexity of the text. Lastly, they retell the text to a partner.

To make students accountable for this strategy we play a game called "I Remember". They know they have to retell and they have to listen carefully to what their partner says because they will be sharing both if called on. To play I remember I randomly call a student. They begin with the sentence stem: "My partner remembered..., and I remembered...". This little activity not only holds them accountable for the text, but also helps them comprehend the text better by listening to the details that their classmates got that may differ from what they got out of it. And it gives me insight to their level of comprehension: are they regurgitating what they just heard? Are they referring to the text explicitly? Or are they inferring or drawing conclusions based on what they just read?

I get tons of information. Students are really comprehending the text and having in depth conversations about the text. And best of all, there are absolutely no worksheets that I have to grade!

Thank you for taking time to read my post! Now hop on over to one of these other fabulous bloggers for more great information:


  1. Thanks for sharing this simple tip for comprehension. I will definitely have to remember this one for my guided reading groups and conferences.

    Mrs. Plemons' Kindergarten

  2. Thanks for sharing. This would be a great strategy to use with one of students I tutor.

  3. This is a really nice strategy. Thank you for sharing. Teaching Science With Lynda