Reading fluency, I try to squeeze it in wherever I can, and this year using poems worked like a charm in just a few minutes in the morning.
The elementary school where I work is big, I mean big, like the largest in the state of Montana big. Eight K, 1st and 2nd-grade classrooms. I know right?! Note to self, do not volunteer for the scheduling committee, I mean, can you imagine? We have a seven-day specials rotation and how the folks on that committee manage to make it all work I have no idea, but they do.
This year, we had 15 minutes from the time the bell rings, students enter the building, put their things away, and take attendance before our specials begin at 8:45. I wanted to fit in some meaningful practice but in that short amount of time, what would work? Enter, the amazing Jen Jones with Hello Literacy and her Poems For All Year K-2. They fit perfectly in a composition notebook and have been the mainstay of our morning routine. Easy prep, that is my middle name. The poems are black and white, come two to a page, I copy them, cut in half, sort by month and voila, ready to go!
Just about every single morning, there is a new poem waiting for my students as they enter the classroom.
They are season and holiday-themed and my students adore them. Our routine looks like this:
- Glue your poem into your Poem Notebook
- Read your poem 3x to a seat partner
- Circle the rhyming words
- Underline the nouns
- Color code the verbs
We have been able to fit all this in and then we are off to our specials class. This little bit of practice first thing in the morning has helped my students to increase their reading fluency and each and every one of them has shown amazing growth this year. I am so very proud of my students as they are of themselves. These notebooks filled with poems they know they can read will be one of the keepsakes they take home with them at the end of the year.
Do you use poems in your classroom? If so, drop a comment below and let me know how I would love to hear.