This week we started teaching inferences in first grade.  We decided to start with concrete examples this week and then move into making inferences with text once they had the inferring skill down a little better.  For teaching inferences, I’ve gotten many ideas from Comprehension Connections by Tanny McGregor. She has wonderful ideas that are scaffolded to help support student learning.  I also got some great ideas from the blog, The Inspired Apple. Abby has some fun ideas for how to intitate inferring with students.

On Day #1 – we started with The Inspired Apple’s – What is in my teacher’s bag?  The kids loved this! They thought it was so cool to be able to see things that were in my purse. I carefully selected my keys, wallet, iPod, cell phone, gum, and water bottle.  The first day we talked about each item and came up with reasons why it might be in my purse. We then charted those reasons. On Day #2, the kids filled out Abby’s cute page for What’s in my teacher’s bag?

Our Chart

Thank you Abby for these great student sheets!

On Day #3 – I used the idea from Tanny’s book, Comprehension Connections called “Neighbor’s Trash.” You start off by explaining to your kiddos that you have a mystery that you need help figuring out. The mystery is that you have no idea who your next door neighbors are. You’ve never seen them, never met them, never heard them, etc, but you know someone lives there.  So, one morning you saw their trash outside and decided to take it to investigate. At this point, my kids thought I were crazy. Why would Miss V take her neighbor’s trash? Some of my kids suggested, why don’t you just knock on their day and be friendly lol.  Little do they realize this is all trash from my house. Like the teacher bag activity, you show them the items you found and they come up with inferences for who might live there based on the trash.  In my “neighbor’s” trash, we found a large pizza box, Ace bandage, empty Capri Sun pouch, Gap bag, receipt for a new TV, and a plane ticket.  See the chart we came up with below.

We also came up with an inference chart for ways to talk about inferences – my kids have gotten really good about starting their inference using the phrases below…

More inference ideas coming soon!

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