Inferencing/Elaborative Interrogation

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Inferencing in literacy

Inferencing is about recognizing how reading impacts a student’s understanding and how new information is integrated into old understanding.  Before reading, students are asked to explain their prior knowledge on the topic of the reading from a prompt provided by the teacher.  These are recorded so to ensure that students remember their pre-reading understanding.  The students then read, taking note of new information and observations that alter the way they think about the concept.  Finally, students review their previous knowledge and discuss ways by which their understanding changes so that they can understanding their critical thinking process more clearly. 


In elaborative interrogation, more focus is placed on how and why changes in understanding are made.  This process is outlined by 4 primary questions:

  1.  What is my inference?

  2. What information did I use to make this inference?

  3. How good was my thinking?

  4. Do I need to change my thinking?

Inferencing in music

Inferencing in music can be applied to expressive and interpretative issues within a piece of music.  This is particularly well paired with comparative listening activities, in which students record themselves and then listen to another performance of the same piece.  Students can then address why they made musical decisions they did and how hearing a different performance influences those decisions and alters the way by which students think about musical issues.