It's mid-year and that means it has been cRaZy busy at school! We are in the midst of doing our ELI testing (Early Literacy Inventory). One week down, and I'm not even through with half my class. After we finish our ELI testing, we will start our Kathy Richardson math assessments. During this time, we are also pre-testing and will soon be post testing our essential skills for report card purposes. We have at least eight report card assessments for this next reporting period. We do report cards every six weeks. We do all of these assessments in the form of one on one conferences. After I finish testing, then I need to conference with the students and have them mark their data/target binders. Whew! Sometimes I feel like I'm chasing my tail!
This week my first graders had fun learning about mental images. I began the week by thinking aloud and explaining my mental images as I read a book. Then I read several different poems and I let the students choose which poem they wanted to illustrate. After they drew their mental image, they got with the other boys and girls that chose the same poem and discussed their illustrations. They noticed that each person's mental image was different. I explained it was okay because we all have different schema.
I put their poems and the illustrations they drew for their mental images on the bulletin board outside our classroom.
I thought it was interesting how this student chose to draw herself imagining the poem.
I love her imagination bubble!
Notice how this student drew a sad face for this poor, lonely little cat.
These students seemed to connect with the last part the most.
"I stick my tongue out. I feel the cold."
As we learned about mental images this week, we talked about it being like making a picture or a movie in your head. I explained that we can use our five senses and imagine how things smell, sound, look, feel and/or taste. I created this small poster and then added it to our bulletin board in the hallway.
If you want your FREE copy you can grab it over at Google Docs or by clicking on the image above.
Then I read "Greyling".
In this story, a fisherman and his wife are sad because they do not have a child. One day the fisherman finds a lonely seal. He wraps it up and takes it home. However, when he gets home it isn't a seal. Instead it is a baby boy.
I took two days to read this book. On the first day, I read 1/2 of the book, stopping in four different places to draw my mental images on post its. We discussed how my images changed as I gained more information.
The next day I had the students practice drawing their images as I stopped in four different places.
They loved this story!
I got these ideas straight from Debbie Miller's book "Reading with Meaning".
I ended the week with Deanna Jump's activity for "My Neighbor's Dog is Purple".
You can find this activity over at her blog Mrs. Jump's Class. My students were amazed by the ending! They loved this activity and it was a great way of showing how our images are constantly changing as we are reading.
If you want a copy of the poem, I created a pdf and you can get a copy at Google Docs or by clicking on the poem above. I put the copy under my document camera. It saved time. I didn't have to write it on sentence strips or create a poster. ;0)
Here are some examples of my student's work:
I like teaching about mental images because the students get it and have a lot of fun!
Next week we begin learning about main idea. That one is a little trickier for my first graders!