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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Visualization or Mental Images

 Hi friends! I hope you all enjoyed our blog hop on World Gratitude Day! There were some super cute freebies along the way. 

I finally have a school post! 
We have spent a lot of time on visualizing in my class the last two weeks. Before I began to teach the students how to visualize, I did a quick assessment of how they were already creating a visualization or mental image.
I gave each student a half sheet of paper. I asked them to listen to a poem I read and then draw what they saw in their minds. I love the Hippopotamus Sandwich by Shel Silverstein. I read the whole poem through once. Then I had the kids grab their paper and crayons and get busy illustrating what they saw as I read it a second time.  Many of students were drawing the details they heard. But their drawings were random, meaning the pieces to the "sandwich" were all over the paper. I only had two students who drew a sandwich. I knew we had a journey ahead of us!
So...this was born...
The next day I began with a definition of visualizing (or mental image, for those who use that term). I started the anchor chart so my students had a visual. I made up a quick story about a family picnic and put my chart together.
I read a short book about the 5 senses. Then I gave each student a response form. I asked the students to listen for the words identified with their senses. I stopped after the first sense, which was taste. I had the students draw what they were visualizing. Then, I reread that part of the story and drew my visualization. The first day, I read half the story, completing 3 of the 5 senses. 

The next day, after a brief review on visualization, I continued with the rest of the story. My finished anchor chart looked like this. 
Here are some student work samples.

I had the students describe what they heard and what they visualized. 
On day 3, I read another story from the packet. This time, I read all the way through on the first read. I then had the students draw what they visualized.
I read the story a second time and had the students add more details to their drawings.
On day 4, I returned to the original anchor chart. This time, I added thinking stems. 
I modeled for the students how to use the thinking stems to write what they were visualizing, with text based evidence. They completed their response sheet by writing each thinking stem and completing the sentence. 

By day 5, my students were all able to visualize and locate the words the author had written to help them visualize the story.
Here is our final bulletin board. 
My students really enjoyed these activities, and better yet, I am hearing them talk about their visualizations now when I am reading or when they are reading with others. It is showing in their reading response journals and their writing. 
Just for fun, I am giving away 2 copies of What Do You See? Visualizing...
Enter below on the rafflecopter! Winners will be chosen Saturday! 
If you can't wait to see if you have won, I have put it on sale in my TPT store for the next 24 hours at half off! Just click on the photo below to grab it for less than $3!


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Baby Smarty Pants

Hi friends! I know it's been a while since I've posted anything useful for my teacher friends here. Today is no exception...but I do have an explanation for my absence for the past few months. =)
I don't normal blog about my personal life, but I am making the exception today to explain where I've been, why I have been slacking on my teacher creativeness! Aside from the beginning of the school year craziness...I have been busy (or should I say exhausted) from "baking" this...
Meet Baby Smarty Pants...=) Yes, this is my first. No, we are not going to find out the sex. We want to be surprised! =) 
He or she kept me completely exhausted throughout the summer. Teaching summer school was a bit more than I could handle. I have been very blessed with little morning sickness, and a pretty easy textbook pregnancy so far. Other than all the changes with my body, that constantly surprise me, I feel pretty good. 
Now that I have hit my second trimester, my energy is returning with a bit of my mojo! This is what I am working on this week...
I am hoping to have it complete by this weekend. I'll be giving a few away, so make sure you stop by on Sunday. =) And I really promise to get myself going here again on my blog! 

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