Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Mental Images & Giveaway Reminder

So, I'll start this blog post with a little funny...

well, a little funny to someone...

A grandparent helper was in my classroom with her 3 year old grandson who was playing around after school and "helping".  A little girl (4th grade) that I keep in the afternoon for dismissal was hanging around waiting for her bus, and asks, "Is that your grandson?".

Um...grandson??  Wow! I'm 35.  A grandmother

It was one of those days where I was already dragging & then I get asked if I am a granny. Yay for me. So, then last night, I had dreams all night of senior citizen discounts & people confusing me for being much older.

Good times.

Nothing like children and their honesty to make you feel good about life. haha :)

Anyway, we have been working on visualizing, making mental images, or "pictures in our brain". I absolutely love this unit & the kids have so much fun (maybe because they get to draw more than I ask them to write, but...) it was a great time.

I also noticed that their comprehension was higher on our weekly assessment & I even had a few kids say " I remembered the story because I thought of the picture in my brain".

So, like I said, I love this unit, but in the past, I've always had a hard time finding poems to go with it.  I have heard this from several fellow teachers and bloggers, so I wanted to share some great ones I found that worked perfectly for teaching mental images :)

We started with Bubble Trip by Arden Davidson... She is BRILLIANT!
The kids had to close their eyes & make "pictures in their brains". We read it a couple times & the kids went back to their seats to illustrate.

We then covered up the poem & answered questions about the key details  ( good ole' common core!). 
They loved it ! :)

 Don't you just LOVE his airplane???
 Phonetic spelling always makes me giggle...
I just loved how she sequenced the poem & was so specific with her details.
And she did this all independently. Yay!

We did the same type of activity with these poems throughout the week, as well...
Another great one by Arden Davidson... and of course, the kids had a blast acting out this story & pretending it was raining gumballs!

My Talented Family by Kenn Nesbitt is hilarious...

The kids always lose it when we all figure out what "piddling" means. There's always one or two kids that have heard this at home & then the whole class cracks up.

It's a little "gross", but what kids don't like a little humor like this?!

Their illustrations kill me!
 The one on the left has someone yelling at the dog asking him what he did! :)

Ken Nesbitt is hilarious & you can get all his poems from the book Aliens Have Landed At Our School. You can order it by clicking on the picture.

We also read Swap Meet  by Arden Davidson & my firsties got a huge kick out of illustrating the animals that had swapped characteristics. Seriously, if you have not checked our her poetry, go now. She is amazing!

I can't believe I forgot to take pictures of these illustrations, but you can just imagine how cute they were.

This even lent itself to a creative writing activity for our writing center where the kids had to choose two animals, and write a line/stanza or a story to go with it.

I made a sheet to go with this, but it's saved on my computer at school. I will upload soon, and share with you if you want it :)

Then, lastly, we completed the activity by Deanna Jump at Mrs. Jump's Class for My Neighbor's Dog is Purple.

You can get a copy of this poem from Corinna at O "FISH" ally a First Grader.

The kids LOVED this & we used it to focus on reading the WHOLE passage or poem before answering questions, finding the main idea, or coming to any conclusions.

We used this great sheet from Mrs. Jump to illustrate and write about our mental images...
Click on the image to go to her site & download a free copy :)

Here are some of us images...

Great activity & fun, too!! :)

So, that was our week (in ELA and Reading anyway).... this week, we are focusing on Main Idea & Supporting Details. I have found some great texts for this,too & can't wait to share them with you!

In math, we are balancing equations, and I think my head may actually explode. No, really...brains everywhere!  Has anyone else done this??  (Not the exploding part...just the teaching...haha).

Allright, folks, time for some paper grading...woo hoo.

Don't forget to enter my 300 Follower Giveaway...

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As always, thanks for stopping by! :)


  1. I teach in sunny Southern California (although not so sunny lately). I like to win the pencil sharpener that has everyone a buzz!

    1. The pencil sharpener really IS amazing! Sunny Cal huh? Never been out west, but it's on my "bucket list" for sure! :)

  2. I teach in Northeast Ohio, 4th grade :) I would LOVE to win the most amazing pencil sharpener! I don't have an electric one in my classroom and our manual one definitely doesn't do the job! Thanks for hosting this giveaway :)


    1. It is DEFINITELY amazing... I have everyone at my school hooked & wanting to buy one! :)

  3. Your students' illustrations make me smile! They do a great job!

    1. Thank you. I love what they come up with!

  4. I teach in a K-7 school in Minneapolis. I want that Amazon gift card. I spend way too much money there! :)


    Learning With Mrs. Leeby

    1. You and me both! We should get frequent flier (buyer) points! :)

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  6. Hi Kelly! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I am now your newest follower, but with your awesome giveaway going on, I won't be for long! Beautiful blog!
    You and my wife need to connect. You have a lot in common: She's a blogger, a first grade teacher, and has a store on TpT!
    Here's her blog info:
    Teacher to the Core Blog
    Have a great night!
    Justin- Writing Pad Dad
    Follow my blog!
    “Like” me on Facebook!

    1. Thanks, Justin - I'm already a follower of your wife - she is AMAZinG! (Of course, you already knew that!) Thanks for following and for stopping by! :)

  7. Your mental images activities are terrific. I teach third grade but can certainly adapt your ideas. Thanks for sharing!

  8. I love your mental images lesson. I am going to use these ideas!

    The REAL Teachers of Orange County

  9. Raining Gumballs...LOVE IT!
    I am introducing our Picturing Penguin soon (for mental images) and these lesson ideas would be perfect to sprinkle in! Thanks so much for sharing!
    Ms. Marciniak's First Grade Critter Cafe
    Join my 100 Follower Ultimate Giveaway: Skype Author Visit!


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