In my county for both reading and math, in addition to being tested with a multitude of questioning styles, the students are tested with BCR’s. The acronym stands for Brief Constructed Responses. An open-ended question is given and the responses are well-supported yet brief and graded on a 3-point scale. This style of questioning is used primarily in the upper elementary grades. (In second grade in the past we just used short answer responses.) But our wonderful third grade teachers asked us to begin introducing BCR’s now and a checking and evaluating strategy they use. I have began working on them with my reading class and the highlighters are a HUGE motivator!!! Here’s how it works: First I bagged up a yellow, green, and blue highlighter for each student. In order to respond to the questions asked students must: Answer the question (blue) Provide examples from the text (yellow) Connect their answer and examples with a possible personal connection (green) After writing their response, students use highlighters to check their answer to be sure they included the necessary parts for a complete well-developed response. We have been reading James and the Giant Peach as a read aloud. So as a class we worked on answering the question: Would you want to have James as a friend? Use the text to provide support for your answer. We brainstormed how we felt about James, reminiscing on things that had happened in previous chapters. Students then worked independently on deciding if they would want Donavan to be their friend from Donavan’s Word Jar. I WAS SO IMPRESSED BY MY STUDENTS!! They did amazing! Here is an anchor chart I whipped up during planning when my brain was completely fried today.