RAT Short Answers
April 21, 2008
"Recently, one of my colleagues remembered a neat way to help students understand how to write a short answer. She used it at a previous school and couldn't quite remember the exact words, but we call it RAT. Our version stands for Restate the Question, Answer the Question and Tie it to the Text. We have not taken the standardized test since we have taught this concept, but we are very hopeful. We have been practicing answering questions using the RAT method. I give them a short reading and then give them an open ended question to RAT. They write their answers, and I ask for volunteers to read them. As a class, we talk about what grade we give would and why. We need more practice, but I think (and hope) it will make a big difference on the ISTEP test."