Monday, April 25, 2011

What do you observe, wonder and infer?

Kishauna has been working very diligently with her Grade 3 students on the reading comprehension strategy of inferring.  Using the idea that our inferences connect our prior knowledge with the information in the text (PK + T = I), Kishauna has blended the use of picture books and photographs from current events to have her students make inferences.  

To begin scaffolding the work, Kishauna has done some whole class lessons, using the O-W-I strategy from Adrienne Gear's Nonfiction Reading Power.  This connects well to work with written text and moves into using images.  What do you observe (O), what do you wonder (W), what do you infer (I)?
From these whole class lessons, Kishauna then decided that students needed to try an O-W-I on their own.  She used four different images from different current events and had students work independently.  Afterwards, students with the same picture met to talk about their inferences and share their ideas and learning.  The small groups then came together and as a class, they debriefed the different pictures.

During her Reading Workshop, while students are working on a task, Kishauna meets with students to confer and guide their reading, one-on-one, or sometimes in small groups.  She keeps her notes in a notebook so that she can refer to them when planning and meet the needs of all of her students.
As students finish their work, they know that they are to "get lost in a book."  Students move into independent reading naturally and without any issues as Kishauna has set her expectations from the beginning of the year so students know the routines.
Working with many different texts is an important component of Kishauna's reading program.  From the media images of current events, to the use of picture books, like Tight Times, and Chris Van Allsburg's Mysteries of Harris Burdick, she finds different ways to engage her students in a variety of meaningful contexts.
Setting the learning goal and success criteria with the students is essential in every classroom and every subject.  Kishauna has co-constructed the following criteria with her class and refers to it in each of her lessons on inferring.  Students know that no matter what the text may be, the expectations remain the same.

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