Thursday, April 26, 2012

What does that really mean??? Help with Inferences.

Definition of INFERENCE
: the act or process of inferring (see infer): asa : the act of passing from one proposition, statement, or judgment considered as true to another whose truth is believed to follow from that of the formerb : the act of passing from statistical sample data to generalizations (as of the value of population parameters) usually with calculated degrees of certainty
: something that is inferredespecially : a conclusion or opinion that is formed because of known facts or evidence
: the premises and conclusion of a process of inferring

Both of our sons are diagnosed at various areas on the autism spectrum.  They are concrete thinkers.  If it is not black and white...well as Joey puts it, "I Don't Get It!!!"  So how do you teach a concrete thinker how to draw a conclusion without always having concrete evidence.  I cannot just answer his questions all the time by just saying, "I just know...that's how."  Understanding inferences is actually part of speech therapy programs, especially for children with autism.  And this is an issue that Joey has been struggling with lately.

I was very excited to get the opportunity to preview this new product from The Critical Thinking Company.


From their site:

We all make inferences in our daily lives (e.g. we naturally think a child is happy because we see them laughing). But how does this ability apply to written communication? When we read a written passage, we’re actually reading a representation of the author’s thoughts and ideas, because the written word does not convey a meaning in and of itself. Readers must construct the meaning through interpretation.

Inference Jones provides short, fun, and easy-to-use activities that improve critical reading and higher order thinking by developing the student’s ability to draw inferences from written text. Research shows inferential reasoning is a prerequisite component to superior reading comprehension. The National Foundation for Educational Research concluded that "the ability to draw inferences predetermines reading skills: that is, poor inferential reasoning causes poor comprehension and not vice versa."

This product was amazingly simple to work with.  After a brief discussion with Joey, using the above dictionary excerpt about inferences, we dug into our book.

Each "lesson" is short and too the point.  The questions draw out the student and really teach the kids to read between the lines.  And not everything is black and white.  Sometimes you just have to assume that something is that way, without it being actually stated.

These little stories have led to some extra discussions with Joey as he is thinking about whether or not something is Probably true or Probably false.  I don't let him off the hook easy, and neither does the lesson.  You need to describe why you feel that about the statement made.  Reasons need to be listed.  These in turn has helped quite a bit with our reading comprehension delay, because he needs to really listen and look for the details that will help him to explain why he came to that conclusion.

I have nothing but good things to say about this book.  I am so grateful to have been chosen to use this book with our children.  I am using it with both special needs and typical children.  They are benefiting.  

Each lesson is roughly 10-15 minutes in length, depending on the amount of further discussion that you have with your children.  I cannot tell you how grateful I am that such a large benefit is crammed into such a small amount of time.

Would I recommend this book?  Without a doubt....YES!!!  In fact, this is a book that will be go through right now, but I will go through with them again in maybe 6-8 months so that they can no longer remember the small details, but still benefit from developing those critical thinking skills.

It is recommended for grades 5-6, but can be used for remedial students in high school.  I am reading the stories though to my younger kids, and they are just verbally giving me their opinions and conclusions that they are coming to from listening.  So really if you are going for a multi-age item, you could easily work this in with little ones around also (Our younger one are PK and 1st grade.)

Are you interested in purchasing this for your family?  Check out Critical Thinking Company today.  This item will be available for purchase in June of 2012 for only $11.99.  It contains 48 pages of reproducible lessons, and includes an answer guide to help out a bit.  This is the Level 1 in this Series.  It is written by Robert E. Owen, M.A.

Check out what other Crew Mates thought of The Critical Thinking Company products for their families.


*****Disclaimer......I received Inference Jones free of charge for the sole purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The views I have expressed are my own and are real experiences with my family. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255>:"Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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