So what to do about it? Research! I think I may have found something fabulous that will turn inferencing into a friend instead of that dreaded skill (or foe.) Check this out! This girl has already taught it this way--she says it works!! :) She has 2nd graders, so I would need to extend it a bit for my third graders, but man does this sound better than what I have been doing. I will give a brief overview. :)
Here is a great book for inferencing! Instead of straight up reading the book to the kids (which this book doesn't really lend itself for "reading") play a game with it instead!! Here is a sample page of the book!
Next comes "Inferring About Me" activity, I think this will be a favorite of my students!
The students fill out the map about themselves but do not put their name on it yet! Then as a class, the students have to infer who the student is based on the character traits they listed! Then the students repeat the same exercise using characters from books. (For example, someone may fill one out on Flat Stanley) Then the students guess who their character was (tip: make sure the students pick a pretty well known character!) :) I just love this idea! It works on character traits and inferences!
Again, I have to give credit to Made in the Shade Blog! I just put a few of my own touches on it to match my kiddos (3rd graders). I love all of her ideas though!