Once again, I got this idea right from Singapore Math. NOT that we have the program (wishful thinking!) It was something that I found in my Singapore Math research. The wording on this has been slightly modified to make it a bit easier for my little ones to remember.
RICE stands for:
Read and record the problem (we do this on a bar model)
Illustrate your thinking
Explain your thinking
In order to prepare my students for the testing they will be facing, I think it is important to teach them in this format.
First of all, it gets them to SHOW THEIR WORK. Really, there's no way around it here, when a bowl of rice asks you to illustrate your work, you do it! Second, it gets them to EXPLAIN their thinking. As you know, extended response test questions ask the students to do the same thing.
My students have really responded to this format and I saw even more of an improvement once I combined it with Bar Modeling for word problems.