Read About It ... Think About It

08 February 2012

We're a little more than half way through our inferring unit on Chris Van Allsburg, and we've been adding to our reading bulletin board as we progress.  There's a lot of student thinking on these two boards.

This is the "Read About It" side.  On it I have our O.Q.I charts (I wrote about them in an earlier post).  Students write a sticky note for observe (I know ...), question (I wonder ...), and infer (I think). We complete the O.Q.I chart after the first time we read each book in our inferring unit.  We've just started our fourth book - The Mysteries of Harris Burdick (my favourite!).  I've just been stapling the O.Q.I charts over the last ones, so we have four here.  I have just enough room for the last two books.

This is the "Think About It" side to our bulletin board.  We have our learning goal, success criteria for answering an inferring question (co-created with the students), and some visual reminders on how to write an inference.  I also put up a poster I made for my Inferring Package.

(The OCD side of my is growing increasingly bothered by the top inferring learning goal.  I'm pretty sure one of the first things I do tomorrow morning will be centering it over the chart paper.)

Running down the centre of the two boards, I've posted the students' independent reading reflections from the end of first term.  They have each taken on a 30 Book Challenge and on these cards they have reflected on their progress so far.  Students wrote about how many books they have read, how many they should have read so far, and what genres they still have to read to meet the challenge.  On the back of the cards they wrote all the books they have read this term.  We also did this activity half way through the first term.  When I take these current ones down off the bulletin board, they will get stapled to their first ones and filed in their portfolios.

Well, that's about it for tonight.  I managed to get this written while my husband was putting together my middle daughter's birthday present - a Barbie Dreamhouse.  Happy 6th Birthday, Katie!  And Happy Wednesday!


  1. I love Chris Van Allsburg. I always wonder if he knew while writing his books would inspire inferring in classrooms everywhere.

    Chickadee Jubilee

  2. wow - look at all those post it notes!!
    And I love Van Allsburg :)
    The Teachers’ Cauldron

  3. Your students are SO so lucky to be under your mentorship and guidance!!

  4. These posts have been so informative and helpful--thank you!!! Happy birthday to your little girl!

  5. That looks fantastic! And best of all, you can visually see all the learning and thinking going on in your class. LOVE IT!

    Journey of a Substitute Teacher

  6. I love the way this works. Have you considered using this for inference test questions after the activity is completed. In this way students make connections with their previous inferencing skills and how inference test questions appear in a formal setting.

  7. Jen-

    Do ya'll not have a reading program that you use? And how long do you stay on your inferring unit?


  8. Shannon - we don't have a program we have to use (as long as we cover all the curriculum expectations). Our school did buy a program for grades 1 - 6 a few years back, but I really, really don't like it. I LOVE having the freedom to shape my own program, but it's A LOT of work! We have to do something called "critical pathways" where we study a particular strategy or large curriculum expectation for 4 - 6 weeks, and our whole division should study the same pathway. Inferring is our current pathway (for my grade 5/6 class and the 7/8 class). This unit will be around 6 weeks long (interrupted by DRA testing).

  9. Jen-

    I LOVE all of your ideas!! I try to incorporate some "thinking" kind of stuff into our day, but this reading program just sucks the life out of me and them! :) I'm thinking about asking permission at the end of this year to do a reading workshop next year. Don't know if I want to ask permission or just do it! :)


  10. Tag You're it!

  11. That's such a great idea! Thanks for sharing. :)
    I'm a new follower and I tagged you at "bloggy tag". Check it out at

    I would love your support! Thanks :)

  12. These are great ideas! You have inspired me to make a Read About It/Think About It board also. We always have discussions about our thinking and feelings from our reading, so why not show it! Thanks for the ideas!


    1. Thank-you so much, Sabra. I love reading the insights my students come up with!

  13. Hey, I love this lesson. Wonderful job! Does anyone else know any good books to teach inferencing to grade 3s and 4s? If so, please e-mail me at or post here! Thanks so much :)