Element 11

Helping Students Elaborate on New Information

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Getting Started

Below are some resources to help you to identify the critical components of Element 11, Helping Students Elaborate on New Information.





AT A GLANCE

The teacher should plan to ask questions that require inferences about the new content but also require students to provide evidence for their inferences. This should result in the students drawing conclusions that were not explicitly taught within the chunk.


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.

GOING DEEPER

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.

MONITORING

Element 11 can only boost student achievement when it is used correctly, consistently, and monitored for the desired effect. The following monitoring technique examples might be a good addition to your teacher toolbox.


  • 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.

REVIEW

Asking high-level questions leads students to draw inferences that go beyond what was explicitly taught. Inferences can be drawn from the students’ past experiences or text clues. Asking students to explain and defend their inferences showcases their learning of the new content.