Teaching students to "read inferentially" helps them read more strategically by making connections between their personal experiences and their comprehension of a text. Rather than stopping students during reading to comment on specific points, this strategy focuses on their thinking and how new information reshapes prior knowledge.
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In this lesson, 11th grade history teacher Joanna Heppeler sets the stage for an ambitious multi-day unit examining four key documents from President Lincoln: his first inaugural address, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Gettysburg Address and the second inaugural address. She helps students draw inferences from Civil War-era photos, cartoons and maps as well as the primary texts.
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Featured Glossary Term
A strategy in which students read story scripts or poetry aloud during an informal skit or performance. In this active approach to reading, a student assumes the role of a character and reads his script aloud. A teacher works with small groups of students to help them read their scripts accurately, fluently, and with proper inflection. This experience can improve a child's reading fluency, comprehension and self-confidence.
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Research & News
In an 11th-grade English class at Pittsfield Middle High School in rural New Hampshire, Jenny Wellington's students were gathered in a circle debating Henry David Thoreau's positions on personal responsibility. Welcome to student-centered learning at Pittsfield, a grade 7–12 campus in its third year of an innovative approach to education.
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