Thursday, May 16, 2013

Inferring with Stickies

This week, we started studying inferring as a reading comprehension strategy. As I only have two more weeks left of school, it will be a short unit, but I wanted to make sure we got some of it in.

I began a new bulletin board three or four weeks ago. I took the old one down and put a new color of paper up. Then it sat. And sat. I intended to do something solar system themed, but could never decide what to do with it. So there it was. 

I decided something needed to happen to it before the end of the school year - thus the inferring board  idea was started. I decided to make an interactive bulletin board. I first was acquainted with interactive bulletin boards through Beth Newingham's site. Have you been there? Check it out if not. She's amazing. 

Anyhow, I separated the bulletin board into three parts - inferring about the characters, setting, or inferring some kind of conclusion from the book other than the characters or setting. 

As a class, we read the book Smoky Night. Have you read it? I discovered that it was fantastic for inferring. I have never used it before for that purpose, but it was great. I asked the students to infer one thing from the book and write in on a sticky note. The book confused them a bit since none knew what a riot was and none of them caught the ethnic differences between the people because they pictures are purposely not clear about that.

I didn't answer any of their questions about the book, but simply wanted to see what they could infer on their own. Most did pretty simple inferences, but that was fine with me as we're still beginning the unit. 

We then read the book again, and I helped model by inferring many times throughout the book and answering questions they had about the text. Overall it was a very good lesson. 

Today, students read their self-chosen books and made three inferences that they could put up on our bulletin board. Can you tell which type of inferring they're most comfortable with? :)

Sometimes a simple bulletin board is perfect and students seem to love the interactive part of it. 

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