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pinacolada pinacolada is offline
 
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are inferencing and drawing conclusions
Old 04-20-2008, 05:35 PM
 
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the same thing? any good read alouds for teaching the skill?


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i think technically,
Old 04-20-2008, 06:08 PM
 
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they aren't exactly the same thing (i researched this when our state test first came out and they were listed as 2 different things), but i couldn't tell you what the difference was! i treat them the same.
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Inferring vs.drawing conclusions
Old 04-20-2008, 06:41 PM
 
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Inferring involves the reader bringing to the reading their prior experiences in order to make sense of the reading. Drawing conclusions involves the reader specifically looking through the reading to support a conclusion about the reading.
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Which goes to show...
Old 04-20-2008, 07:06 PM
 
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that if making inferences requires children to apply their prior experiences to reading, as Anna said, kids who have fewer life experiences (e.g. low socioeconomic kids) should not be expected to perform as well on "reading" tests as kids from families that are able to provide their children with many meaningful experiences. This infers that state testing is inheritantly predjudiced against low socioeconomic kids.

Hmmmm... makes sense to me.

It also seems that "drawing conclusions" requires critical thinking ability, which is developmental, at least as much as it does actual reading ability. So, a kid may be able to read very well, but if he just can't put two and two together even if he can read all the words and knows what those words mean, he'll fail the reading test.

If I may draw a conclusion here:

Neither "making inferences" nor "drawing conclusions" are fair tests of whether or not a child can read.
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I think
Old 04-20-2008, 07:25 PM
 
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I think the difference is:

When you infer, you use evidence from the text to make an educated guess.

You need to read between the lines to draw a conclusion.



Oh! One book I used for this was Somebody Loves You Mr. Hatch.



Last edited by Angel Star; 04-20-2008 at 07:26 PM.. Reason: added the book title.
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I understand
Old 04-21-2008, 03:53 AM
 
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why someone would say that making inferences is not a fair test of whether someone can read, but really, that depends upon the definition of reading. If reading is just word calling, then no, inference-making isn't a fair test, but if reading is making meaning of text, then yes, inferences are a fair measure, I think.
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needs same
Old 04-21-2008, 05:19 AM
 
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I believe you use prior knowledge for both. I can't see how you don't.

I agree with Born2Loose. I came to this country at age nine and even at that age for me the culture shock hit me pretty hard. City or state tests are not bias-proof.

I work in a title 1 school in the city with a large immigrant population and low income population and it is insane to assume that all students in our class bring with them the same experiences.

Honestly, when I take a close look at the questions on city, state test or practice prep books many of them could have different answers depending on how you interpret it or the experience you bring to the question/text.

I always ask my students to explain why they choose the answers they chose for certain questions on a test (especially when their answers are "wrong") and at times I have to agree with them!
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Old 04-21-2008, 01:43 PM
 
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while I agree that children from a different culture are certainly at a disadvantage with these tests, it remains true that if we don't make meaning of text,we aren't really reading. We all have had kids who could decode like crazy--not a word in the world they can't sound out--but who cannot tell you anything they read. I submit that that is not reading--it's word-calling. We have to measure whether or not kids can infer, in order to see whether they understand what they're reading. If a reader cannot infer, they miss HUGE chunks of what they read--and that is not effective reading. Good readers are able to infer. Poor readers cannot. In fact, if poor readers were better at inferring, they would GET what they read, and they might actually enjoy it.

I think inferrring is a skill which really must be measured if we're to say how well someone does, or doesn't, read.
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college ESL instructor/mother weighs in
Old 04-22-2008, 12:25 PM
 
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Part of the job of school (elementary, secondary, post-secondary, public, private) is to acculturate students so that society has a common foundation on which to build. The LAST thing our kids need is for that to be taken away because of fears of cultural bias in testing.
Yes, cultural bias IS a problem, but it is one that should be addressed by NORMING our kids to the culture they must compete and survive in, NOT by norming the test to our kids, thereby creating a false sense of accomplishment and success. Eventually these kids have to compete in the professional world which really doesn't care about their socioeconomic or cultural backgrounds. All it cares about is whether an employee can do the job correctly, efficiently and provide a good image.
I disagree with those who claim that children who have difficulty with drawing conclusions are merely "word-calling". I think that a great many of these children CAN draw conclusions in a culturally unbiased (or biased-in-their-favor) situation. The trick is to find way to test for reading ability and cultural knowledge and then integrate the two into our lessons.
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If I were reading
Old 04-22-2008, 01:59 PM
 
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in a different culture, I might very likely also have trouble drawing conclusions. But if I am NOT drawing those conclusions, then yes, word-calling is what I am doing. Reading is making meaning of text! If a student cannot say what they read, then they are not reading effectively at that level. I read Spanish, but not fluently. I pick up the gist, but the subleties are lost to me. If I took a reading test in Spanish, I would not do so well, even though I am an excellent reader in English. I would not be proficient in Spanish! I could tell you the main idea, even some supporting details, but I'd miss the humor, sarcasm, or whatever else was there. What I'm doing, largely, is word-calling.

No one is saying that kids from another culture can't read well. But if they are failing to infer, for whatever reason, they are not making sufficient meaning of the text, and their level is reported as low. Unfortunately, we cannot

"Yes, cultural bias IS a problem, but it is one that should be addressed by NORMING our kids to the culture they must compete and survive in, NOT by norming the test to our kids, thereby creating a false sense of accomplishment and success. Eventually these kids have to compete in the professional world which really doesn't care about their socioeconomic or cultural backgrounds. All it cares about is whether an employee can do the job correctly, efficiently and provide a good image."

Exactly. This quote did, however, cause me some confusion with the rest of that post. It seems to contradict itself.


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