Digital Chalkboard is shutting down and will no longer be available after January 26, 2022.
California is investing in a new curated repository of free, high-quality, open source instructional resources for local educational agencies and educators to use. Please visit California Educators Together and sign up for your free account today.
Please contact us at, if we can be of further assistance.

Using Verbal Cues to Infer Information

jacobs-studentsOur first glimpse of Ms. Jacobs is a bit mysterious. She starts the class with students pairing up based on a slip of paper that they are given at the door. One student might receive a slip with the word "Window," while another simply receives the letter "W." With little more than this to go on, she then asks students to find their partner.

Students are a little slow to engage in the activity, as you might expect. However, they quickly figure out how to match up based on the information given.

PDROM Bar Video

Ms. Jacobs then shows her class two short 5-second video clips, one from a popular cartoon character who can be pretty hard to understand (sorry, but copyright laws won't let us show it here!). Her students' highly-tuned cue-reading skills come into play again, giving them a pretty good idea of how the characters are feeling based mostly on their actions and tone of voice. Take a look:

Classroom Clip Reflection:

  • How does Ms. Jacobs group her students for her first activity? Is this an engaging strategy? Why or why not?
  • Why do you think she used this strategy?
  • What are the implications for you work with students?