Processing New Information


I have learned that processing new information is instrumental to engage students in learning new concepts.  In my experience, students need to be provided with processing experiences after new critical information is presented.  According to Dr. Marzano, these processing experiences may take from 2-3 minutes or 30 minutes.  Time spent on processing experiences depend on the level of difficulty, rigor, or complexity of the critical information that is being presented.

How can teachers facilitate the active processing of new content?  There are several teaching strategies associated with facilitating the active processing of new content:

  1. Teaching and modeling, including the use of the Gradual Release Model
  2. Planning and providing extensive opportunities for students to process new content
  3. Organizing students in groups
  4. Facilitating the implementation of active processing
  5. Monitoring students for the desired effect

Students can process new information independently; however, it is more effective when processing in small groups.

How do we know that students are processing new information? The observable behaviors of active processing include the following:

  1. Talking/Discussing
  2. Sharing
  3. Predicting
  4. Explaining
  5. Writing
  6. Summarizing
  7. Paraphrasing
  8. Questioning
  9. Generating conclusions

Many of my lessons and unit plans on Teachers Pay Teachers include activities to promote effective processing of new information.  These resources are available individually or bundled.  Please click on the links below to explore these resources:

Lesson and Unit Plans Reading and Math BundleLesson and Unit Plans ReadingLesson and Unit Plans Math

For additional information on processing new information, please read Dr. Marzano’s books, especially The Art and Science of Teaching.


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