Fifth Grade 2011


Making inferences …

 Authors use clues to help lead the reader into making their own personal thoughts.  These thoughts are referred to as inferences.  As fifth graders read, they are combining what they may already know (schema) with the text they are reading to infer the meaning of unknown words, traits of characters and making predictions.  These interpretations allow the reader to interact with the text at a deeper level which in turn will create a more in- depth understanding.

As you talk to your child about their reading, honor their thinking.  Ultimately reading and your child’s thinking can be fun, exciting and meaningful.

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Understanding Character Traits…

The characters in a story drive the story’s plot.  Good readers make judgements or infer a character’s trait(s) by noticing the character’s actions, words and thoughts.  They use this information to help them understand the character at a deeper level rather than at a surface level.  This understanding allows a reader to understand the plot of the text better.  While you are listening to your child read or watch a television show, discuss what the character does that leads us to think a certain way about them.  Then propose a couple of hypothetical situations such as:  Do you think she would tell her parents or would she tell her best friend?  What actions make you think that is the choice she would choose?


Using context clues…

Reading use clues in the text and pictures to help them figure out meanings of words, characters’ next actions, character’s traits, character’s feelings, and theme.  Good readers naturally do this without realizing they are using the skill.  Students who are struggling with understanding “big words” need to be taught how to infer the meaning of the word.  We can’t possibly know the meaning to all words, but with careful analysis of the clues around the word and what little we may already know can lead us to make a smart guess (an inference) about the word’s meaning.  Encourage your child the next time he or she is reading to use the clues in text to infer its meaning.


Making Connections…

Fifth graders studied making connections in texts we read together and independently.  We discussed making meaningful connections that are connected to the theme.  Good readers use their schema to help them interact with the text which allows them to gain a better understanding of what they are reading.  When we make connections that are connected to the bigger message of the text then we are able to remember what is important.