The STRUGGLE & HELP of Making Inferences!

As an adult, sometimes it is hard for us to understand why children cannot make inferences.

But as a teacher, we understand that our students struggle with this reading strategy. Especially because of their age, reading ability, upbringing, etc…

Making Inferences and Drawing Conclusion is a higher level complex skill that will develop over time. This is part of the struggle as well as part of how adults can help!

Why do we want to help students be able to “Make Inferences” or “Draw Conclusions”?
We want students to be able to ultimately connect to authors and it helps to bring all genres of literature to life! Students need to be able to figure out the authors purpose along with gaining deeper meaning. Inferences are also a foundation skill to 21st Century Learning!

There are many factors that play into this struggle…

  • Lack of background knowledge.
  • Lack of experiences.
  • Lack of precursor reading strategy skills such as automaticity.
  • Lack of ability to pick out details in a text.
  • Lack of vocabulary.
Some things that teachers and parents can do to help…
  • Picture walks prior to reading.
  • Use wordless picture books.
  • Play 20 Questions.
  • Create visual scenarios.
  •  Paper Bag Mysteries.
  • Use riddles frequently.
  • Implement writing, especially short responses and note taking.
  • Teach vocabulary.
  • Know there can be more than 1 correct answer.
  • TIME to grow!
  • Use magazine photos or stock photos.
  • Use comic strips.
  • Make Question and Inferences anchor charts.
  • LOTS of think-alouds and modeling!!!
I’m sure there are many other factors that play into the struggle as well as many other things we can do to help, these are just at the top of my list.
One thing I can tell you from being in the classroom with elementary school age students, is that using a variety of multimedia and text with teacher scaffolding can benefit students.
Why? There isn’t 1 type of student. We have visual learners, auditory learners, sensory learners, we have all types of learners! We cannot teach everything 1 way and in 1 format.
This is exactly why I prefer to use text, comics and photographs to teach Making Inferences. I also like to give students sentence frames or short question words to help generate their thoughts and writing.
I have created a product that does just that! Below are some pictures.
You can try a FREE SAMPLE of this product and VIEW ALL 3 PRODUCTS by clicking HERE or on any of the photos below!
Here is a photograph using short question words and a sentence starter. The #3 stands for the 3rd photograph out of 6 used in each Making Inferences Product I have. Each picture comes in this format, along with a full page photograph with 4 scaffolding response sheets.

Here is text using short question words and a sentence starter. The #5 stands for the 5th piece of text out of 6 used in each Making Inferences Product I have. Each piece of text comes in this format, along with a full page photograph with 4 scaffolding response sheets.

Here is a full page photograph using a scaffolding response sheet with sentence frames. The #4 stands for the 4th photograph out of 6 used in each Making Inferences Product I have. The #1 on the response sheet stands for choice 1 out of 4 you can use to respond to full page items. Each picture comes in this format with 4 scaffolding response sheets along with what you saw above.

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You will see the same photograph as above but #3 response sheet used. You can see the difference as I have 4 response sheets you can choose to use depending on students independence and ability.

Here is a full page piece of text using a scaffolding response sheet with sentence frames. The #1 stands for the 1st piece of text out of 6 used in each Making Inferences Product I have. The #2 on the response sheet stands for choice 2 out of 4 you can use to respond to full page items. You can see how this response sheet differs from the one above. It is part of the scaffolding and gradual release part of this product. Each picture comes in this format with 4 scaffolding response sheets along with what you saw above.

Below you will see my mini anchor charts! Full page is also available for you to use, but these mini charts are great visuals and reminders to put at each student’s work area.

 

 

I hope you find this post useful and this product too!
You can try a FREE SAMPLE of this product and VIEW ALL 3 PRODUCTS by clicking HERE or on any of the photos above!

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