Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Inference lesson & 150 Follower give away!

This week, my class is practicing using the skill of inference.
I know many of you do the lesson about the mystery trash owner. (Thanks, Tanny McGregor!)

I have to tell you, using trash kind of grosses me out.  (I know its just packaging, but the idea of modeling going through someone's trash kinds of gets to my germophobic tendencies.)

So, I found a way to fix that!

I have been hosting a 31 gifts catalog party at my school.  (This is an important detail for later in the post too!)

My consultant loaned me a bunch of bags to show people if they wanted to see them.  They have conveniently been sitting behind my teacher table.  

I pulled one out, and asked the kids to give the facts about what they could see.

They listed:
The bag said munchies.
The pattern was adult and plain.
The bag could be used for food.
The bag could be taken places, it had a shoulder strap.

Then I asked them to infer what they know about the person.  (I told them, that the bag didn't belong to me or a staff or family member of mine.)

They listed:
The person likes snacks.
The person must go to the park or zoo.

There were a few misguided inferences, like the person has kids.  They couldn't back that up with proof, so we discussed that inferring isn't randomly guessing.

Then, I pulled out another bag, with a letter S on it.  They questioned if it was some of the staff members.  I was proud of them for inferring that several teachers have names that start with that letter.

Then one of the students stumbled on to the fact that, the teacher she does tutoring with, had a similar bag and she got it from a catalog.  
This lead to another student saying she had seen a catalog on my desk.  
Finally, they inferred that the bags must be linked to the catalogs.  

We discussed that through talking with others it may help us to get a more clear inference.

In the process of displaying the bags, my neighbor teacher was returning to her classroom across the hall, she couldn't help poking her head in, and laughing.  It was an excellent chance to explain to my students that people have different schema, and the teacher knew things they didn't.

I eventually confirmed they were from a salesperson.

It was a fun take on a key lesson in inference.

Now on to the 31 gifts part of this post!

Antoinette and I are hosting a 150 followers giveaway!

The prize is:

Check out the Rafflecopter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

We will select the winner when we get to 150 followers!



  1. Congrats on "almost" 150 followers! One lesson taught recently was one about visualization. After modeling with a read-aloud book, students read a short story together. They drew a picture to represent what they visualized during the story. Then, we shared pictures and talked about our similarities and differences.

  2. I love teaching the kiddos how to play the game "roll and record". It is so much fun. They get to "roll" the dice on the SmartBoard and then record their answers on the graph.
    This can be used for ELA too!

  3. Congrats! Thanks for the giveaway! :)


  4. Oo. My favourite lesson to teach is introducing making connections- I just taught it last week and the kids are always so thrilled when they realize that relating their experiences to what they read is fun and important!

  5. I love teaching greater than less than in math:) short and sweet!

  6. Thanks for commenting on my blog! I'm your newest follower! My favorite lesson to teach is writing with great leads, BOLD beginnings.

    Pencils, Books, and Dirty Looks

  7. I am #142! I love teaching about fall and the leaves changing colors! Something about getting the kiddos outside to observe/notice/wonder makes my heart smile!

  8. I am loving teaching all math with my Promethean Board. It is so much fun.

  9. I love to teach about reading is thinking with Thank you Mr. Falker.