On our endless pursuit of comprehending text, we have been focusing on fact and opinion (and how they add to the overall main idea of a text). We began by reading an article from Time for Kids (on a side note, TFK is SUCH great, easy to read non-fiction...perfect for having students dissect info for comprehension purposes) The article was about how people came together to help each other out and survive a shark attack. After reviewing what facts and opinions were, the students set out creating a foldable using direct quotations from the text.
After diving into the text, we brought this into "testing mode". The kids looked at a sample question from the released questions. We then, worked together to show evidence for each answer choice as to why it is a fact or an opinion. The reason I have them do every.single.choice is because I want them to really be sure about their answer. The state test is notorious for throwing tricky wording at them. If they circle key words, and PROVE their answer, by DISPROVING the other 3, they will be sure to have the correct choice.
After doing a few together, I gave them a sheet of fact and opinion released questions that I cut out (literally) and pasted on a sheet. I leave space for evidence, so they can write the actual evidence a bit bigger if they wish. I am sorry for the blurry picture (and the fact that this isn't actually the fact and opinion sheet!) The F/O sheet looks just like this, but with those specific questions (this is a combining sentences sheet)
This takes time for the students to do, but the effort they put in to each question is paid for when they get the correct answer. They really do see the difference proving themselves makes, especially when they come to those tricky facts and opinions that could really go either way if you are speeding through. Slowing down and showing evidence makes a world of difference.