Many classrooms are using constructed responses to prepare students for those open-ended essay questions that are used on standardized tests. These questions are to show if the reader demonstrates cognitive knowledge and reasoning. Looking at the Common Core Standards, students are to not only give an answer but also demonstrate evidence to support that answer. One new way of doing this is introduced in the website:http://www.brighthubeducation.com/help-with-writing/33366-constructed-response-essay-question/
The site gives the acronym "RACE"---reword, answer, cite, and explain. It is stated that if students can reword the answer, answer the question and then cite evidence and finally explain their thinking, they will do well on the exam. The part that usually trips up the reader/writer is the part where they need to cite the evidence and explain their thinking. This part of the exam is meant to show how well the reader comprehended and could use inferences.
R-rewording the question: Simply turn the question into a statement. If the question is: How do you know Kay likes winter? The rewording would start with: "I know Kay likes winter because..."
A-answering the question: Continue on with the first statement: "...because in the story it said she loves to go sledding."
C-citing evidence: Using specific details that show how much Kay loves sledding and even quoting a line from the story, would be proof for the statement.
E-explain the answer: Now is the time for the reader to give reasoning for why s/he thinks this is evidence. This must be a complete explanation in order to get the most points for the question. This is not meant to demonstrate opinion, but to show how to extract information and support it.
Sharing this idea with students is just the first part of helping them to do better with this type of question. Doing several of the questions and answers in whole group teaching, having the students work with partners in active engagment and then allowing them time to work on their own with support will ensure success when they encounter this type of questioning.