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Small Group Activity

The small group activity I chose related to literacy content the students were
learning in class during my IMB experience. The information was used to support
student understanding of a whole class lesson I taught immediately following the
small group lesson. Objectives completed during this activity challenged students to
form inferences based on Common Core objective CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.1. I
determined this activity would be beneficially to student development based on
teacher recommendation and comprehension of lessons taught earlier in the week.
The materials needed within the classroom include pencil, paper, and an inferences
related board game.
I began the activity by posing the following questions/explanations: Can
anyone tell me what an inference is? What are two important parts of an inference?
An inference is an educated guess based on evidence and personal experience. We
are going to play a game today and work together to form inferences. The students
spin a dial that gives them a specific number. This number tells them how many
spaces to move. There are 4 sections on the board and each section has a group of
questions that get harder as the students progress. Test cards in each section
challenge the students to read a passage and make inferences. The students are
asked to read the test cards aloud and work together to solve them. They must ask
themselves questions and use metacognitive strategies to help solve their question.
All students are given a chance to help answer the question. If they answer the
question wrong, we look through the passage on the test card to find why the
answer was wrong, what the correct answer is, and how to reach that answer. I
modified the lesson to increase attention levels by placing the students in teams of
2. Each group has one minute to answer the question. If wrong, other groups can
steal their answer. After the activity, I held a small discussion with the students
about inferences asking the following questions: What is an inference? What did you
learn about inferences today? How can we use inferences to support reading?
Increasing the students ability to succeed in a future lesson on inferences
was an intended outcome of the following activity. Each student in the small group
presented a need for guided instruction on inferences, characteristics of inferences,
and how to properly form them. I believe the lesson was a success because the
students of the small group succeeded during the whole class lesson and proved
their ability to form inferences based on interaction with a text. I believe time was a
constraint that impaired my ability to cover the topic as well as I would have liked.
The rules for the board game were not difficult but the test questions were
extensive and quite difficult to complete quickly. This challenged student knowledge
of inferences but also introduced pressure that negatively affected student
participation. If I implemented the following activity in the future I would set aside
at least 25-35 minutes for the students to work through the game. Overall, the
small group activity successfully supported student understanding of content
related to inferences with minor setbacks.