Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Making Inferences: What's My Teacher Been Up To?

Ready or not...here we go! 
The calendar has been turned to January. It's time to think about getting back into the classroom. 
I will begin 2018 by teaching the very important, but difficult reading skill of making inferences. 
This is a tricky skill and I know my kids (and myself) will be struggling to deal with being back at school after our break. A couple of years ago I came up with an introductory lesson for the skill of Making Inferences. It will be perfect for our first day back. It is a fun activity that I call, " What's My Teacher Been Up To?"  It is a great one to use on the first week back from winter break, but can also be used any time of the year.  
I prep and prepare a number of "evidence" bags that contain clues about what I spent my Winter break doing. 

Inside each bag are clues that tell one of the things I did during my days off.  Students work in a small group to evaluate the clues and connect them to make an inference. 

I added multiple clues to each bag. One had a ticket to a museum I visited, a map of the metro we took to get there, and a photograph of my son in front of one of the exhibits. 

Receipts make good clues.  They often include a location plus a date and time. 
I included one for the bowling we did. Students could find clues and make inferences about the number of people who played based on the shoes we rented. 

Students recorded clues and background knowledge on a recording sheet and made inferences. 

Working in a small group helped them to practice 21st Century Skills such as communication and collaboration.  Each group got a chance to share their inferences and were able to give each other feedback. 

It was a great way to introduce a tough skill in a concrete and fun way. 
Choosing high interest activities helps my students and myself get back into our school routine. 
I'm looking forward to hearing and seeing my students work through the clues. 
So, if you are dreading going back, think of a way to make it fun!

I have put other "Making Inferences" lessons and materials together and have added them to my TPT Store.  You can click the link below to check it out. 

What are some of the activities you plan on your first day back from break?
Please share!


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