Sunday, April 25, 2010

Inffering Strategy

I sub every Friday and last Friday I was in a second grade classroom! The teacher asked me to read a book to the class and work on the strategy inferring, which is a comprehension strategy. I was at Red Cedar in a very diverse classroom so I read a story about a girl from Africa. I told the students that we would be working on finding the meanings of words that we didn’t know. We could do this by looking at the pictures, skipping the word and using the words around it to find the meaning, or read through the whole paragraph and see if we can find the meaning. To make sure that the students understood I modeled it for them using the book about the African girl. I found it interesting that the children did not like the words that I chose. They all told me that they knew the meaning of that word. I told the students that this strategy could be used with any word and I was showing them how to use the strategy correctly. I had read the book before school and there weren’t too many words that would be foreign to the students so I did my best finding the hardest words. But when the students interrupted me I felt as though I didn’t get very far. I didn’t think that I had gotten anything accomplish once I finished modeling but to my surprise during the daily five I found that a lot of students were using the strategy. As I went around to the different centers I listened to the students read. I saw inferring the most when students were reading in pairs because they would talk out loud about a word that they didn’t know. First, they would look at the picture and if they couldn’t find the answer from there they would look at the words surrounding the word they didn’t know. I also took the time to read with individual students. When they asked me about a word they were not familiar with I asked if they could use the strategy that I had talked about. The students would immediately look at the picture and for the most part they were able to find the meaning from there. I also found that when I was reading with students they always wanted to explain to me what was going on in the picture. As they were doing this they would realize the meaning of a word that they had thought they knew. It was interesting working with the students because they all used the strategy in a different way. I enjoyed watching the student alter the strategy to fit their reading style.

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like you have been learning a lot of great techniques from subbing! In one of my posts I talk about my kindergarten focus student using some of the same inferring techniques for comprehension and word identification. I know the second graders are much further along in their literacy development than kindergarteners are, but often times my focus student would look at the illustrations without sounding out the unfamiliar word, so she would just say random words from the illustration in hope of guessing the right word in the sentence. Did you see any of this going on with these students? Or were they able to identify unfamiliar words by looking at context clues, sounding out the word, and then looking at the illustrations? This sounds like a great strategy that seemed to work well with your students, and it is interesting how different students use the same strategy in such unique ways to tailor to their learning preferences. Were you able to see any other comprehension strategies being paired with this inferring one when you were going around helping the students, or were you mainly focusing on this one strategy at the time?