This week, I wanted to explain one way we practice fluency each and every day in first grade. We use our “Poem Notebooks!” Students are given a special notebook (just a spiral but it is special to them!) at the beginning of the year and receive a new poem each Monday. The poems are collections from children’s poems from many different resources.
Throughout the week we interact with the text many times in many different ways. I am someone who loves routine and my kiddos are no different..they too thrive on routine. Below is our typical weekly routine for our poem notebooks!
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.1.1a Recognize the distinguishing features of a sentence (e.g., first word, capitalization, ending punctuation).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.1.3g Recognize and read grade-appropriate irregularly spelled words.
Number 1: Mondays
Students get their new poem and glue it into their notebooks. I read the poem and students follow along. Next, I read the poem and students “echo” read the poem. Students get so excited to get a new poem on Mondays and as soon as it is passed out the begin looking for words they know so they are ready for the week!
Number 2: Tuesdays
We echo read the poem. Then go on a “punctuation hunt.” We look for periods, commas, questions, exclamation marks ect. One student finds these words on the SMARTBoard while the rest of the class find them in their poem notebook. We search for commas and circle them in yellow and we circle ending punctuation in red.
Number 3: Wednesdays
We always begin by echo reading the poem. By this time in the week, depending on the difficulty of the poem, sometimes students are able to lead the reading other times I am still reading it first. Then, we go on a word wall hunt. This is an easy way to interact with the text and my kids love it!
We look for all of the word wall words in our poem notebooks and circle them in blue. Some poems definitely have more than others but as I explain to my kids-word wall words are everywhere so it’s important we know and recognize them! Again one student is always the leader on the SMARTBoard and this time another student uses a pointer to point to the word wall words on our actual word wall as we find them.
Number 4: Thursdays
We begin by echo reading the poem. Next, we find rhyming words throughout our poems. We discuss if words are patterned or not. We also talk about words that look alike and sound alike and try to think of other words to go with these word patterns. I always find myself saying…”if you know how to read and write the word _____ then you know how to read and write SO many other words!” As my kids are circling their words (this time in orange) directly in their poem notebooks, a student leader is doing it on the SMARTBoard for kids other kids to see.
Number 5: Fridays
We illustrate and continue practicing our fluency. This is one of my favorite days (I also really like our “word wall” hunt day!) All week we discuss “visualizing” the poem as we read it. Throughout the week we talk about some of the pictures students are creating in their minds. This is the time when students get to put their pictures in their mind down on paper. It is so fun to see the different takes on the poem. They do such a great job with their illustrations. Below are just a few of the samples from different poems: