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Copy of Teaching How to Make Inferences through Mysteries

Professional Development Presentation on using mysteries to teach students to make inferences
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tammy saisa

on 31 August 2013

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Transcript of Copy of Teaching How to Make Inferences through Mysteries

Presenter: Alyse Menza
Using Mysteries to Teach How to Make Inferences
Making Inferences is one of the most difficult tasks for struggling readers. While there are a variety
of ways to approach the topic one of the
best ways I have discovered is through the use of mysteries. Making Inferences allows the reader to think deeper into the text and be able to truly understand what the author is trying to say.
Inference is a complex skill that can be taught through explicit instruction in inferential strategies
Inferring requires higher order thinking skills, which makes it a difficult skill for many students.
TEXT CLUES + BACKGROUND KNOWLEDGE = INFERENCE
Why to Teach Inferencing...
“If two students are taking a test and one fails, we can make an inference that…”
What Inferences Can We Make?
The Summer Camp Mystery
Graphic Organizer
Words and Phrases that give me that idea
Reading Between the lines, I see…
1. All five of her campers came out of the cabin onto the porch. (they couldn’t rig up the ice and water without getting wet themselves)
2. “She had to take Cindy into the ER about midnight last night … she’s not back yet.”
3. “If you weren’t all wet and disheveled, maybe you’d remember that Tom has kitchen duty this week!”

Diane’s campers were innocent.

2. Even though Allie wasn’t present she couldn’t have did it.

3. Tom did it because he had access to ice and water in the kitchen.
Summer Camp

The alarm woke Diane to another fabulous New Hampshire day. It was her third summer working as a counselor at Camp Trevya on Lake Winnipesauke, where she spent her days swimming in the lake, hiking in the mountain woods and breathing in the fresh mountain air. Being the senior camp counselor, Diane got first choice of cabins. She always picked the cabin a bit farther from camp because it had the best view of the lake. More important to Diane, it had permanent screens covering the windows, to keep bugs out. Some of the closer cabins had screens that could be opened, which let bugs in (and, let sneaky campers – out).As she looked out the window of the cabin, she could see the sunlight starting to brighten the eastern sky.
This morning she was tired. For the third night in a row, Lizzie, one of her campers, had needed to use the bathroom at 3:00 a.m. Diane, being a counselor, had to escort her to the facilities, by the dining hall. At least last night Lizzie hadn’t begged Diane to get her ice for her nightly glass of water. She had finally understood that the ice machine was in the kitchen, and that the kitchen was locked at night. Luckily, Lizzie would only be at camp for one week.
Diane had to hurry if she wanted to catch the sunrise before going to blow revelry over the loudspeakers to awaken the camp. Blasting everyone out of bed each morning was always a pleasure to her, for among other things, she was a prankster who loved playing tricks on people. With a smile on her face she headed out the cabin door.
“AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!”
No need for revelry today. Her scream woke the entire camp. Diane looked around and there was water and ice everywhere. Someone had rigged several large buckets of ice water to dump as soon as she or one of the campers in her cabin walked out the door. Once she got over the shock of being soaked, she laughed, “Does someone want to challenge me to a prank-off!” She would get the upper hand, but first Diane had to figure out who was responsible for the joke. There were only four possibilities. The first being the campers in her cabin. The other three suspects were fellow counselors, occupying the three other cabins.
Diane was just starting to think about the suspects when all five of her campers came out of the cabin onto the porch. “What happened?” one of the campers asked.
“Simple” said Diane. “Someone rigged all of these buckets so that as soon as the door to our cabin opened, they would dump water onto the person’s head. I was the lucky one to walk out first, so I got soaked.”
By this point, everyone else from camp had shown up to see what had caused the scream. Now that everyone could see that no one was hurt, everyone was having a really good laugh looking at Diane standing there like a drowned rat. Diane laughed as well, for she knew that she would eventually get the last laugh.
Looking around, Diane noticed that two of the three counselors were not there. “Has anyone seen Tom or Allie?”
An answer came from a laughing onlooker in the crowd, “If you weren’t all wet and disheveled, maybe you’d remember that Tom has kitchen duty this week!”
Yes, Diane did remember. She also remembered that whoever had kitchen duty had to be at the dining hall by 5:00 a.m. to unlock the kitchen, scrub the floors and to begin preparing breakfast for the campers.
Looking right at Danny, she asked “Has anyone seen Allie?” Allie was the other female counselor and someone that Diane had pulled a fantastic prank on two summers ago. Danny just shrugged. One of the campers replied for him.
“She had to take Cindy into the ER about midnight last night … she’s not back yet.”
“What happened?”
“Well, Danny took some of us on a hike yesterday that went almost 20 miles through the mountains. We didn’t get back until fairly late and everyone just went to bed and passed out exhausted. During the night, Cindy got horrible cramps in her calves. Allie tried massaging it, a heating pad and everything else she could think of, but nothing seemed to help. She should be back soon.”
That was it. Diane knew who the prankster was.
Classroom strategies inference. (2012). Retrieved July 20,2012, from http://www.readingrockets.org/strategies/inference/

Kispal, A., & National Foundation for Educational, R. (2008). Effective Teaching of Inference Skills for Reading. Literature Review. Research Report DCSF-RR031. National Foundation For Educational Research.

Making inferences and drawing conclusions. (2003). Retrieved July 27, 2012, from http://academic.cuesta.edu/acasupp/AS/309.HTM

Todaro, S. (2010, January 1). Predicting Inference Processes during Reading: A Multilevel Analysis of Text-Based and Reader-Based Factors. ProQuest LLC.



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