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Making Inferences: What’s in My Teacher’s Bag

First of all, what is is about returning from Christmas break that just makes that lightbulb turn on in my firsties’ sweet little minds?!  I…

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First of all, what is is about returning from Christmas break that just makes that lightbulb turn on in my firsties’ sweet little minds?!  I don’t know if it’s them or me, but they came back from the holidays with their game faces on!  I love it!  We’re *finally* getting through almost everything in my lesson plans, which makes me feel like a super teacher (…for the first time in months!).  Anyway, when I introduced making inferences a couple weeks ago, I started with a little lesson involving the contents of the ridiculously large bag I tote back and forth to school every day.  {This is not a new lesson – my teaching friend did this with her “trash” last year.}
After defining inferencing to my kiddos, I showed them my bag and began to pull out its contents.  I explained that they were going to make inferences about me based on what was inside.  This was a great way to kick off our weekly skill, and they did a great job with it.
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Next, I gave my pumpkins a little follow-up writing activity where they drew 2 pictures of things I had in my bag, along with what they could infer about me.
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Alternately, you can do this activity by letting your students sort through you “trash.”  You can download copies of these inferencing activities by clicking the pictures below (both documents are included):
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{ETA:  Camille let me know that my lesson is an adaptation of an idea from Tanny MacGregor, the author of Comprehension Connections: Bridges to Strategic Reading.  I haven’t read this book before, but just wanted to make sure I acknowledged her creativity!}
A great follow-up to a week of learning about inferences is The Inferencing Investigation.  I did this activity with my kiddos last year, so you can read all about it HERE.  It also includes another free printable.   Admittedly, we haven’t got to it yet this year, but I still plan to do it!
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Unrelatedly, thanks so much for your sweet words on my last post.  So. Not. Necessary!  I know that bad teaching weeks are just par for the course, but it bears mentioning that they do happen.  And when they do, you just have to do lots and lots of yoga breaths and maybe have a glass of wine.  Or two 😉  However, I’m one of those people that copes with my problems by talking through them (shocking, I know), so it’s difficult to have this blog and not talk about them!   Anyway, y’all are the best.  Hands down.
Have a great week!  {I can’t believe tomorrow is already Monday!}

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55 comments

  1. You ALWAYS ***ROCKSTAR*** it out Mrs. Abby!!!
    Another FAB lesson!

    I always look forward to your post…and I am NEVER disappointed 🙂

    I just started my new blog a week ago…all you amazing bloggers inspired me to put myself out there!

    I hope you can stop by my blog when you get a chance!

    glitzyin1stgrade.blogspot.com

  2. Love this idea! I am going to do this activity this week to help with my unit on drawing conclusions!
    I hear you on the bad teaching week. Mine was this week. I hope the lightbulbs come on this week for me… I am afraid for this group of babies.

  3. Abby, the book Camille is talking about it great! I have done the trash lesson from there modified a little. The book has a concrete object for each strategy.

    As always, your anchor charts ROCK!

    Hop over to my blog for a Vowel Munchers *freebie*! The Love Monsters clip art is adorable!

    Heather
    Heather's Heart

  4. Hi Abby,

    Oh my goodness! I absolutely adore you and your blog. You are always full of such amazing ideas.

    I LOVE Tanny McGregor's book, "Comprehension Connections." I actually posted a topic about it a few monthgs ago all about making inferences and questioning. She is PHENOMENAL! In her book, she also offers an awesome "recipe" for making inferences.

    Check out the link to my post:

    http://ayearofmanyfirsts.blogspot.com/2011/09/comprehension-connections.html

    You rock…and you continue to inspire us all!!!

  5. This is such a great and simple idea. I love the chart! You are so talented at taking such a difficult concept {inferencing} and adapting it for first graders. I will definitely be doing this lesson!!! 🙂

    Jodi
    Fun In First

  6. Isn't it great when things start rolling after break?!? I have been telling myself to just wait until January and the day will start moving. Thank you for sharing you days and your struggles. I find myself nodding my head and saying "Amen, sister!"

    Christine

    Hopping into First Grade

  7. I purchased your inferencing pack just last week. I'm in the process of making my case files to use this Friday. I can't wait to try it out. Thanks for all the great ideas!
    Lauren
    justaddclipart.blogspot.com

  8. Adorable idea and I really love your bag. Is that a thirtyone bag?

    I am going to use this tomorrow. We are doing inferences this week, and I know my class will love it!

  9. LOVE your Thirty-One large utility tote!!! Selling Thirty-One just paid off my entire grad school!! Whoop whoop!! And I'm totally doing the what's in the teachers bag idea since I'm the official "bag lady" at school- lol! Thanks for another fabulous idea!! You are too awesome!

  10. Hi Abby,
    Thanks for the inspiration. My school is focusing on teaching inferring and I've been slacking a bit… after reading your post I was inspired to do the "purse lesson". I blogged about it and gave you kudos.
    I also purchased your Snow Day investigation unit. What is on for my Saturday??? Taking my two sweet girls out for lunch and a movie so that I can gather evidence! (While I really should be working on my report cards!)
    Thanks again

  11. Hi Abby
    Thanks for the wonderful idea! I am a special education therapist from Singapore. Just used your idea to teach the concept of inference to my group of children with autism. They enjoyed it although it was very hard for them. Getting lots of inspirations from the site for my following lessons.

  12. Great idea for making a tough abstract skill more concrete for children. LOVE!

    I use a lot of teacher ideas on my website http://www.theeducationaltourist.com where I write about traveling with kids. It is so important for keeping skills up while on the road, right? 🙂

    I'm going to link this to my website and I would love a shout out from you!

    Thanks,
    Natalie, The Educational Tourist

  13. Great idea for making a tough abstract skill more concrete for children. LOVE!

    I use a lot of teacher ideas on my website http://www.theeducationaltourist.com where I write about traveling with kids. It is so important for keeping skills up while on the road, right? 🙂

    I'm going to link this to my website and I would love a shout out from you!

    Thanks,
    Natalie, The Educational Tourist

  14. Great idea for making a tough abstract skill more concrete for children. LOVE!

    I use a lot of teacher ideas on my website http://www.theeducationaltourist.com where I write about traveling with kids. It is so important for keeping skills up while on the road, right? 🙂

    I'm going to link this to my website and I would love a shout out from you!

    Thanks,
    Natalie, The Educational Tourist

  15. I know it’s late, but I used this activity yesterday with my firsties and they loved it! I wish you could have seen the look of shock on their faces when I pulled out my purse!

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