Helping Students Elaborate on New Information
AT A GLANCE
This can be evidenced by the teacher:
- asking questions that require students to make elaborative inferences about the content.
- asking students to provide evidences for their inferences.
- presenting situations or problems that involve students analyzing how one idea relates to ideas that were not explicitly taught.
This can also be evidenced by the students:
- volunteering answers to inferential questions.
- providing evidence for their inferences.
- producing artifacts demonstrating that they can make elaborative inferences.
- identifying basic relationships between ideas and how one idea relates to others.
The focus here should be for a teacher to ask questions related to the content that require students to go beyond what was directly taught. These questions are categorized as either general inferential questions or elaborative interrogations.
- Example Teacher Evidence: Teacher presents situations or problems that involve students analyzing how one idea relates to ideas that were not explicitly taught.
- Example Student Evidence: Students can identify basic relationships between ideas and how one idea relates to others.
How can you reach a rigorous level of instruction? The teacher's questions need to require that the students make inferences about the content as well as provide evidence for their inferences.
- General Inferential Questions: Have students elaborate with a partner or small group, then walk and listen to verbal responses to identify when students use their background knowledge or generate inferences to answer questions without obvious answers. Talk with students and interact as necessary to probe, redirect, or elevate levels of thinking.
- Elaborative Interrogations: Examine student work or artifacts looking for evidence that supports the student’s views.