My granddaughter, who is in seventh grade, has trouble remembering what she reads in her social-studies and science textbooks. She reads above her grade level, so why isn't she remembering what she reads? Any ideas or helpful hints to send her in the right direction would be appreciated. - Worried


Reading textbooks is not the same as casually reading stories. It requires a very close interaction with the material. Teach your granddaughter how to use the five-step strategy of SQ3R (Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review) so she truly knows how to read textbooks.

The first step in SQ3R is to have your granddaughter survey all the material in an assignment so that she will have an overview of what she will be reading. She should look at the chapter title, headings, subheadings, pictures, maps, graphs and charts. Then have her read the introductory paragraph and the summary, if there is one. Finally, she should glance over the questions at the end of the chapter. At this point, ask her what she knows about the chapter.

Step two involves selecting questions that will be answered by reading the assignment. A piece of paper should be folded in half lengthwise to form a study guide. Ask your granddaughter to turn the first heading into a question, and write that down on the left side of the paper.

In the third step, your granddaughter will read the material under the first heading to find the answer to her question. She will then jot down key words or facts that answer the question on the right side of the study guide. Then she will do the same thing for the rest of the headings. Some students also do this for the subheadings.

After your granddaughter writes questions and answers for each section, the next step is for her to recite what she has learned. She should read each question and give the answer without looking at it. If she can't remember an answer, have her study her notes or reread the section. To really remember what she has read, this step should be done twice. The final step is to review all the questions and answers the next day and again before a test.