Each morning, I begin my day with Hello Literacy’s Picture of the Day.  It is seriously #classroomstaple.  It is a necessity for any classroom and kids of all ages can benefit from its daily use.

Each morning, I display an image on my Promethean Board for my students to discuss.  At the beginning of the year, we take this process very slowly and do a few mini lessons on various vocabulary.

We first begin by making observations.  I have a student of the day who is allowed to sit on the ottoman.  They kick off the observation fun.  In our mini lessons at that beginning of the year, we learn that observations are simply facts.  What do you see in the picture?  
What I love about this portion of the routine is that it requires the kids to really look at EVERY part of the picture.  It requires them to look for details and parts of the picture that are not typically noticed.  Often times, they notice things that I don’t even notice.  After 8-10 students have made observations, I allow one student to make an inference.  Their inference could be about what they believe is happening in the picture, where the setting of the story is, or even why the picture was taken.  Their imaginations can sometimes get the best of them.  I love hearing their inferences!
The next few students have to prove or disprove their classmates inference using the observations from the picture!  In this picture, two students were using two difference observations or argue whether the inference was correct.  
This routine really gives our students an anchor for future reading assignments and tasks.  This daily routine allows my kids to understand how details from the text are much like the observations that we make about our pictures each day.  When we make inferences in our pictures or in the text, we must be able to support them with details.  It also gives us MANY opportunities to discuss prior knowledge.  In some cases, students make inferences that are not always spot on.  Students with more prior knowledge on the topic can chime in and contribute to the discussion.  

At the end of the week, I assess our students ability to make observations and infer using the weekly assessments included in the product.  I’ll be honest, I’m wound a little too tight.  I made copies of each weekly assessment over the summer and store them in my filing cabinet.

Each Thursday afternoon (or sometimes Friday morning….depending on when I remember), I can quickly pull them out and I’m ready to assess.  After my students unpack each Friday morning, they grab an assessment sheet from my desk.

At the beginning of the year, their scores were quite rough.  Partly due to the vocabulary involved, such as observation, inference, and support.  They also struggled to put into writing the thoughts and discussions that we typically have in class.  Now, I rarely have anyone score below a 90%.  🙂