Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Trade Book Tuesday...x's 2, plus 2 FREEBIES!

So, I originally started this feature because...
(a) I LOVE finding awesome trade books to use in mini-lessons and thought it would be fun to share about on my blog
(b) I thought it would keep me accountable to my bloggy buddies! Well, you can see how long that lasted! haha I haven't had a "Trade Book Tuesday" since August, and in case you've seen a calendar lately, there's been lots of Tuesday's since August. We won't talk about it.

 Moving on to it, sistah (or any brotha out there)!

So if you follow my TpT store, you might have noticed an influx in inference activities. Well, guess what we be doin' in our learnin'?! If you guessed making inferences...*DING! DING! DING!* Of course, making inferences has always been one of my most favorite skills to teach in reading. So, having only 3 weeks to focus on this abstract yet exciting skill before our next district test, I figured we'd jump right into it the first two days back from Christmas break, last Thursday and Friday.

This is what we did:


1) I introduced what an inference is by stomping into the room, crossing my arms, pouting, shuffling papers loudly on my desk, and finally plopping down harshly in my chair {You should have seen their faces! haha PRICELESS. Try and you'll see.}
2) I had the students recount what they'd just seen, and of course they described what I had done, and inevitably one little muffin said, "Mrs. Flood! You were MAD!"
3) I asked the students how they knew I was mad, and of course they explained all the actions and then I told them that they just made an INFERENCE.
4) I talked up the skill BIG time...like, if they made an inference, they would probably grow up to be the greatest detective ever to live because they would be using clues. They loved it!
4) We watched "BrainPop, Jr.'s" inference video {except I couldn't get my sound to work so I narrated Moby the robot and Annie the 5 year old child which they thought was hys-TERICAL}
5) Then, I showed the kids my inference poster and talked about the two things they'd need to make an inference:

Background Knowledge {Schema - Their "file folders" of information} + Text Clues {words and pictures in the book} 
= An Inference

{You can snag this poster I used, plus a free graphic organizer, here at my TpT store!}

Then, I created this anchor chart with my kids {I had the face and book drawn before class, but then added the other elements during my mini-lesson...or supposed-to-be-a-mini-lesson-that-was-really-about-35-minutes...ooops....so it would make sense to them as we went}. I have the mini poster, plus this poster, hanging in visible spots for my kiddos to reference!

The definition got cut off in the pic...sowwy. It says, "To figure out what the author is
trying to tell me, but doesn't
Then, we read this super fun trade book, Pancakes for Breakfast by Tomie de Paolo. It's a wordless book, so it's perfect for making inferences. 
Pancakes for Breakfast
The kids did AWESOME while we filled out our anchor chart. I led the first inference, and they listened, except for giving me their background knowledge. The second & third inference, we made together, but I guided the process and prompted their thinking often since this is the first time this year we've talked about making inferences.

loved their schema. They were also so cute when they "pulled out" their "file folders" {I told them to "open their brains" and pull out the folder...and by George, they did! CAH-yute!}These are the results of their thinking. I have two classes, and these are both of the charts. I love  how their thinking is so different, but on target both times! 

I add the students' initials after they give their schema. They love seeing their initials! It makes the proud, and want to be more involved in the lesson! 

It was a weird day. We had a "Peaceful School Bus" meeting so that ran into our morning session, we only had a 30 minute planning {Yippie!...said no teacher ever...}, then I had a four hour meeting in the afternoon. It is what it is. So, I was only there for my morning ELA rotation and we had a blast-a-roni reading this little muffin of a book!

Chrysanthemum Big Book

My kids L-O-V-E Kevin Henkes. I read his books all the time. Chrysanthemum is one of those books that grabs every child's attention, because it's so relate-able {is that a word? I don't know... it has a red squiggle under it...oh well! It is NOW!}.

1) We started by reviewing our posters, and turning and talking and teaching our partners about what we learned on Thursday.
2) Then, I read to them Chrysanthemum {that's just so fun to say} and during a guided mini-lesson, we completed this chart:

We have a super dooper poster maker machine at school that allowed me to blow up this anchor chart so I wouldn't have to write it twice, plus I had a sub, so I wanted to make sure everything was perfect! {Not that I'm a control freak or anything. umm...yeah...}

Normally, we would move into my version of the Daily 5 rotations, but since I wasn't there and the first two days back were nutso-Mc-nutso, we will get back to the regularly scheduled reader's workshop this week. Woohoo!!! 

I'll post more about my inference literacy centers and activities that my muffins will be using during small group rotations soon. 

Have a wonderful week! :)

Until then,


  1. I love your inferring activities! This is always a harder one to teach. (Of course I teach 2nd, so that may be part of it!) I love using Chris Van Allsburg's The Stranger. It never tells who he is, you just have to use the clues to infer that he is probably Jack Frost. I just love everything by Chris Van Allsburg! I am always looking for new books to teach with as well. Have you ever been to Picture Book Teacher's Edition . That's not me, but her blog is great! Thanks so much for sharing, I will be using my new freebies soon!
    Second Grade is Out of This World!

    1. Hey, Hilary! I've never been to her blog! Just checked it out...it was AWESOME! :) And yes, I use Chris Van Allsburg ALL the time! We used The Stranger for raising questions earlier this year and it's actually one of my kids' favorite books to check out now! :) Thanks for stopping by! :)

  2. Wha what!??! You have a poster making machine?? I am so jealous! Love those charts, too!


    Second Grade Sparkle

    1. Come work with me and we could be poster making nuts!! LOVES!

  3. I love how you came in huffing and puffing. I will totally do that when it comes time to teach inferences to my kiddos!!! Thanks so much for sharing all your excellent ideas!

    Across the Hall in 2nd Grade

  4. I stumbled upon your blog and am so glad I did! I LOVE teaching making inferences to my first graders! We're coming back into it next week and I happen to have Pancakes in my classroom library!! Thank you!! :-)