Making inferences

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by lilmisses1014, Oct 11, 2009.

  1. lilmisses1014

    lilmisses1014 Comrade

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    Oct 11, 2009

    I'm at a loss right now and know you awesome elementary teachers can help me out!! I am trying to come up with a making inferences activity for my first graders.

    Thanks in advance!!
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 11, 2009

    How about using wordless picture books?
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Oct 11, 2009

    I came across this while I was searching this topic:

    National Foundation for Educational Research. The Mere, Upton Park, Slough, Berkshire, SL1 2DQ, UK. Tel: +44-1753-574123; Fax: +44-1753-637280; e-mail: enquiries@nfer.ac.uk; Web site: http://www.nfer.ac.uk
    of pages including all front-matter. 65
    Pub Types:
    The type of document (e.g., report) or publication medium. Information Analyses; Reports - Research

    Skills of inference are needed not just to be able to "read between the lines," to detect the unspoken hidden meanings that enrich overall understanding of a text or to draw one's own personal conclusions about a text. They are needed for all the other tasks that teachers want their children to do in handling texts: to understand the effects achieved through choices in vocabulary, to recognize what the writer is trying to accomplish through the whole text and to appreciate what the impact on the reader may be. Almost any reading activity that goes beyond literal understanding involves some degree of inference. A literature review to uncover what is known about the reading skills of inference and deduction was conducted in late 2007, under contract to the Department for Children, Schools and Families. The specific purpose was to distill implications for teaching from academic research. Much of the literature concerned the nature of inference and the taxonomies of different types of inference that various researchers had identified. The search was guided by four research questions: (1) Are there different skills within inference? (2) How can pupils best be taught to use inference skills? (3) What strategies are most effective in teaching inference skills to pupils of different ages/abilities? and (4) What does progression in inference look like and how can it be supported? Overall, few studies explicitly investigating best methods for teaching skills were identified. A key finding of the review was that the ability to draw inferences predetermines reading skills: that is, poor inferencing causes poor comprehension and not vice versa. Practical suggestions for teachers for inference instruction are also presented in this report. (Contains 3 tables.)
     
  5. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Oct 11, 2009

  6. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Oct 11, 2009

    http://dyslexia.wordpress.com/2008/01/19/comprehension-skills-inference-strategies/

    Helping Your Child Begin to Infer

    Ask her, “What do you think,” and “What struck you here?”

    Explain that your child is making inferences all day long, not just when he’s reading. Encourage a conversation about this. (Dad looks tired tonight — how can we tell? Jennifer knows not to reach for a toy at the checkout counter –it’s the expression on Mom’s face, of course!)

    Model your own behind-the-scenes thinking: this technique is called a “think-aloud.” Say, “Hm; I was getting worried when Clifford started to play with the electrical cords because I know that…”

    Build inference skills with quick word games that can begin spontaneously: Call out a phrase like “As prickly as a ______” and everyone takes turns filling in the blank. Or twenty questions: children try to guess the identity of a mystery person or thing by asking questions – if they can’t guess, the asker gets a point!.

    Wonder out loud, for example, “Where are the ants hiding?” When the child replies, ask “What clues helped you figure that out? Show me the words!”

    Similarly, when they have used context to puzzle out the meaning of an unknown word, inquire, “What helped you figure that out?”

    Let your child ponder and dismiss conclusions; help him to talk about the process he’s using.

    Predict what the next page will hold; explain whay you think so. Let the child agree or not and defend his position.

    Get at a “big picture” or a possible life lesson intended by the author (if there is one) by talking about the title, or about certain things that happen over and over. Show how understanding evolves, bit by bit, depending on the turn of events.

    What Kids Say About Inferring

    The book includes a page of 3rd, 4th and 5th-grader’s comments about “inferring.” Here are some:

    It helps you concentrate…
    It helps me understand the humor, and that helps me understand how characters are feeling.
    I’m part of the book.
    It slows me down, and I think harder.
    An inference is when you spill your thinking on the book.
    When you read, your brain is like the pushmi-pullyu in Dr. Doolittle’s book. One side takes in the words, and the other side thinks about them!
    An inference is when you take the important words and turn them into thought.
    An inference is the opposite of a reference because a reference is a source right in front of you, and an inference is information you have to put together yourself

    Language for Drawing Inferences

    “I predict…”
    “I think that…”
    “My guess is…”
    “That’s just what I thought…”
    “Now this is a surprise…”
    “My conclusion here is…”

    Explaining Inference Work to Students

    An inference elaborates on what you read as you draw conclusions that go beyond what is on the page.

    You create an inference by connecting your background knowledge with the clues in the text or picture. This helps form an opinion about what is not clearly stated.

    An inference might be the answer to a question raised as the story is read.

    A sensory image is an inference in picture form.

    Inferring involves thinking ahead about what could happen next.

    You make predictions and then confirm or reject them.

    You infer when you make educated guesses about what’s going on in your reading.

    Infer the meaning of unknown words by using the context or pictures to figure out what makes the most sense.

    An inference is a personal discovery about what the author doesn’t specifically write.

    Feeling empathy for characters, laughing at a joke, discovering an answer to a riddle, getting a sense about the setting of a story, reacting to facts, and solving a mystery — these are all parts of inferential thinking.
     
  7. glitterfish

    glitterfish Comrade

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    Oct 11, 2009

    I have a fun, concrete lesson you can use from Comprehension Connections to introduce the process. (Later, you would want to refer to this concrete experience when working from more abstract text connections.)

    For the lesson, bring in a bag of (clean) garbage. Tell students that they have a mystery to solve. You have been wondering about a house on your street. Someone must live there, yet you never see anyone around. You wonder how many people live there? What are they like? How old are they? This morning, as you were driving to work, you found this family's bag of garbage on the side of the road and have brought it in for the students to examine the evidence and try to find some answers to this mystery by making inferences. Emphasize that every inference must be directly supported by the evidence (trash.) Reveal one piece of trash at a time, inviting kids to talk about it (make inferences.)

    Write these thinking starters on the board to help students begin:
    My guess is...
    Maybe...
    Perhaps...
    This could mean...
    I predict...
    I infer...

    Examples of "trash" and inference example:

    Label from a Lean Cuisine dinner:
    I infer that a woman lives in this house because my mom eats food like this. I think she wants to lose weight.

    Bottle of Vitamin Water: These people must care about their health. They must have some extra $$ because this stuff is expensive and they could just drink free water out of the tap.

    Airline Tickets: Since this family flew to Montana over Thanksgiving, I infer they might have relatives there.

    Old Ace bandage: I wonder if someone got hurt while exercising. Maybe they are trying to get in shape. Since they threw this away, they must be feeling better now.
     
  8. Falcon Flyer

    Falcon Flyer Companion

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    Oct 11, 2009

    For first graders, I think a really good way of introducing inferencing to get them to visualize. I like to read a page from a book without showing the pictures, then have them draw their own picture and compare the two. Not exactly inferencing, but for first grade, it's a start.
     
  9. lilmisses1014

    lilmisses1014 Comrade

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    Oct 11, 2009

    Thanks so much, everyone!! I found quite a bit online, but I wanted to know what other first grade/primary grade teachers did with their own classes.

    Wow, upsadaisy-- thanks for all of that information!!

    I love the activity with the trash-- I think my kids would REALLY get a kick out of that one! I also like cza's suggestion.

    You teachers are awesome! :)
     
  10. buck8teacher

    buck8teacher Devotee

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    Oct 11, 2009

    I did the trash activity with my third graders for our mystery unit. Loved it! We also made inferences about a mystery shoe!
     

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