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Inference when reading

(28 Posts)
holidayseeker Thu 10-Oct-13 11:53:55

My dd seems to have come to a stand still with her reading at school. She has read virtually all the books on her reading level and she can read them really well however her teacher has said she has to work on her inference to progress higher.

How do I help my dd with this? As she reads I ask her questions about the story as we go along, we discuss the cover and back page and what we think may happen and she answers this well however I don't know what the teachers are looking for.

Can anyone help with what it is that she needs to be able to do?

Ilelo Fri 11-Oct-13 19:02:43


Periwinkle007 Fri 11-Oct-13 18:48:48

I am not sure Ilelo. I think in many ways that is a good thing, many children are too brief and miss out the main points. obviously too detailed could mean they aren't recognising the main points but at least it means they have taken in what they have read.

Ilelo Fri 11-Oct-13 18:21:31

Thanks. I'll start another thread.

But to answer I meant she's too detailed in retelling so takes too long to talk about it. I don't know if that's good as she should be giving a quick summary shouldn't she.

I'll ask her teacher too as I'm unsure what's expected.

tiredbutnotweary Fri 11-Oct-13 17:11:20

Ilelo you might want to start a new thread just because there might not be that much traffic on this one!

You say that your dd tries to retell the story with considerable detail - how successful is she?

I think my dd is good at comprehension questions (except where things are outside of her experience knowledge of course) but I think she would struggle with retelling a whole white book in detail after reading it once.

I think age is relevant (well I hope so - dd only 5 so I'm imagining her retelling skills will improve), however when volunteering I have sat while a 5 year old boy in reception (also on white band) retold a significant part of the story (that he'd read the night before) in explicit detail and correctly sequenced. He, however was gifted, going to yr 2 for maths for example.

Ilelo Fri 11-Oct-13 16:50:16

I agree this comes with age. My dd had same issue but wasn't held back by her teacher for it. With practise, which started with her being prompted/told she's improved a lot. She's 6 too but in Year 1.

May I ask - hopefully not rude by not starting another thread- how your dcs do on Comprehension. My dd tries to retell the story page by page from memory including what characters said etc. She isn't concise. Is that normal at this age?

Periwinkle007 Fri 11-Oct-13 10:49:50

I don't think that sounds fair - it should be based on her on a one to one basis. group work is completely different. You wouldn't assess a child's spelling ability or mental maths ability on getting them to stand up in front of the class and do it, you would do it individually probably on paper. Yes the teacher has to see it to record it and yes she would need to demonstrate it vocally not just do it in her head but I can see absolutely no reason why she should have to do it in front of peers.

holidayseeker Fri 11-Oct-13 09:11:57

Thanks for the advice I appreciate it.

tiredbutnotweary Fri 11-Oct-13 06:31:27

Hmmm, well in that case I would be asking the teacher where it states in the APP grid or NC levels guidance that the skills she is referring to need to be performed in front of a group. I'm 90% certain they don't (I'm only a parent after all). Speaking in front of a group is another skill set entirely - it concerns me that your dd will be marked down unfairly for her teacher assessed SATS and given inappropriate targets too. If the teacher fudges a response I'd be seeing the head next. Hopefully some gentle logic via asking the right questions of the teacher will be enough as you would have to have a fairly exceptional head to go against a member of their staff (sorry bit too early to be very articulate!!!).

holidayseeker Thu 10-Oct-13 23:22:09

Thanks tired I do find it frustrating as it is only when the teacher thinks she is ready to be assessed following how she does in her guided read that she can be moved up a level regardless of which books she has read in gold.

She can read the books fluently and with expression, different voices for characters etc.

What annoyed me at the end of July was that she had been marked down as not being able to do things that I know she can and when I spoke to the teacher she said she knew she could do these things but as she didn't do it in front of while class (expression for example) them she could not mark her as able but dd is shy which will mean she will not want to use different voices etc in front of others.

I will look at non fiction with her too.

Thanks for all the tips.

Fairenuff Thu 10-Oct-13 22:39:52

Have a look at non-fiction books too. Teach her what the contents, index, glossary pages are for and how to use them. Look at how the layout differs from story books - photographs, labels, headings, bullet points, etc. Look at the different fonts and how the book is laid out to catch the reader's attention. This will enrich her reading experience.

tiredbutnotweary Thu 10-Oct-13 22:06:26

I wouldn't be happy with this situation at all - will the teacher move her up when she has read all the gold level books or expect her to gain this skill reading books she's read before?

This argument that a child must be held back until one final specific skill has been reached doesn't hold water IMO because you can work on inference just as well with white band books as gold band books.

Have you thought about signing up to reading chest and giving your dd the opportunity to read white band books? Another option is to pick up some second hand ones from Amazon - there's all sorts of levelled scheme books available so you could choose books from schemes she doesn't get from school.

If she's still learning new vocab, has room to improve fluency, still needs prompting to remember to use expression then maybe get through those last few gold band books. Otherwise, she's been on this band for 9 months - it's time to move up. After all the level of inference required at 2A (white band level) is fairly simple, e.g. being able to work out how characters feel from the words used (like embarrassed from the word blushed) and the examples mentioned in previous posts, so I would be asking the teacher exactly what she's looking for and then giving examples of how your dd does this at home via her reading record book. Provide the evidence the teacher hasn't been able to get through guided reading (which isn't the best way to assess shy children anyway).

Periwinkle007 Thu 10-Oct-13 14:06:50

no I think it is more that she is ahead with her reading than behind with inference.

Level 9 is age 7-8ish but of course children at age 7-8 will have been coming across inference in guided reading and in class activities as well as being more mature. A child reaching this level when younger is unlikely to have the same maturity.

My DD1 is in Yr1 and is reading chapter books now. Luckily the school take the view that her personal reading at home is at the level that she is able to read it and enjoy it whilst other skills like inference will be addressed at school so they haven't held her back on the levels because they don't require her to be able to meet all the NC requirements to go up to the next level of books if that makes sense. This to me is entirely sensible at this age. She comprehends what she is reading, she can do many of the skills required for level 11 and above but some she will only get with maturity and someone teaching/showing her what it is all about which at this stage in Yr1 isn't likely to have happened.

If your daughter's school want them to meet all the NC requirements in order to move up to level 10 then they will need her to demonstrate this before they will move her up.

It is hard because technically they probably should meet all of the NC requirements first but then I think it depends what they are and if it means the child is kind of sitting stagnating because they are actually too young to be able to do some of the stuff then it seems silly IMO. Things like fluency are different I think.

holidayseeker Thu 10-Oct-13 13:38:00

Thanks peri I wondered if it was down to age but as her teacher has been putting in her reading book that she has to work on inference I thought she may be behind with that part.

Tiggles Thu 10-Oct-13 13:35:13

NoMoreMadCatLday grin

Periwinkle007 Thu 10-Oct-13 13:27:53

she is still young then. my daughter was 6 in september and I don't think she really gets it in all books. sometimes when it is obvious she does but we haven't really done much on it and have just let her read the books to enjoy them. I think it will come with time, at 6 I think a lot of children would struggle with it. I would just keep discussing the books she is reading, that is what we are doing, I tend to point it out sometimes, ask questions others and we do a lot of discussing why certain words might be used. (We got her a dictionary and a thesaurus for her birthday which she enjoys looking through).

holidayseeker Thu 10-Oct-13 13:21:40

That's great her older dd has loads of horrid Henry books.

She's in yr2 and was 6 in July.

simpson Thu 10-Oct-13 13:07:44

Inference can come with maturity.

I would keep asking questions about it and it should come.

Horrid Henry books are fab for inference.

Dad glowed "What a school report Peter!"

From this sentence in HH a child should be able to say whether it is a good/bad school report and how dad feels about it (proud ie glow with pride).

Periwinkle007 Thu 10-Oct-13 12:57:59

how old is she? if she is young and reading at that level then it may take her some time to mature enough to be able to 'get' inference.

AgnesDiPesto Thu 10-Oct-13 12:54:11

'Language for Thinking' is a book often recommended for children with language difficulties and covers inference. If you think there may be an underlying language issue you can ask the school to get a speech and language therapist to assess and make recommendations. It shouldn't really be left up to you!

holidayseeker Thu 10-Oct-13 12:53:16

Great thank you catlady

NoMoreMadCatLady Thu 10-Oct-13 12:42:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NoMoreMadCatLady Thu 10-Oct-13 12:41:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

holidayseeker Thu 10-Oct-13 12:34:46

Great thanks for all the replies and cat lady that would be great.

She is currently on gold books and has been since January. She only currently reads at school with her teacher during the group guided read so like you say noramum because my daughter is shy I know she will not want to say something for fear of it being wrong.

Thanks all for the tips.

Tiggles Thu 10-Oct-13 12:31:37

Inference is picking up information from the text that isn't explicitly written there. Depending on the reading level depends what could/should be picked up.
e.g. Monsieur Lacoste put on his coat and wandered down the street. Inference - they are in France

The pretty red leaves were blown off the trees.
Inference - it is autumn

One definite example I remember from one of DS2s books, was talking about Gorillas in cloud forests and that the Gorillas at the top of each mountain were genetically different from each other. The inference being that they didn't come down the mountain and mate with gorillas from the cloud forest on the other mountain.

NoMoreMadCatLady Thu 10-Oct-13 12:25:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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