Wednesday, May 21, 2014
As a social studies teacher, my life revolves around dates, places, and events. I also have to help my students to use the knowledge of the dates, places, and events to apply to political cartoons, excerpts, and diagrams/maps/charts. The skill of inferring is a very hard thing to teach to juniors in high school who do not always want to think deeply about anything, especially boring US History. My EOC/STAAR test is almost 60% inference questions.
My students had a really hard time deciphering the cartoons, excerpts, and diagrams on the benchmark, so I had some work to do. I went through the test and identified all of the inference questions. I then passed back the tests and the students went through their missed inference questions. For every question missed, the students had to rewrite the question and the answer choices. A fabulous thing occurred when the students slowed down and actually looked at the graphic and read the questions and answers; many of the students were amazed they actually knew the right answer. For the questions that still did not make sense, the class as a whole worked out the problem together.