Poem Notebooks to Practice Fluency in First Grade!

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Happy Friday!  Today I am linking up with two of my favorite Friday linkies: Teaching Blog Addict’s  Freebie Friday and Doodle Bugs {First Grade Rocks} 5 for Friday!

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!

Common Core Alignment:

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:

Once they finish their illustrations students are able to go and read their poems with a friend on the carpet.  After kids become more familiar with the laptops then I add an additional piece which is recording themselves in GarageBand.  Students record themselves reading the poem and have a friend listen to it.  The kids really like doing this and hearing their own voices on the computers!   To read more about how we use GarageBand in first grade please click here.
To grab this  free copy of my daily poem notebook schedule click here or on the picture below: 
************************************UPDATE*************************************  With all of the requests for the poems I decided to add them to the post so you can download them directly through Google Docs.  Again, these poems are NOT my own and are labeled with authors names whenever possible.  If you know the author of the of the poems, that I have written “author unknown” please let me know and I will add it to the document.  
Please click here to access the poems! 
Thank you again to TBA and Doodlebugs for hosting such fabulous Friday Linkies! I am off to go read more ideas (and some freebies!) from these linkies!   
Happy Friday!

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118 thoughts on “Poem Notebooks to Practice Fluency in First Grade!”

  1. Love it! I did something similar when I taught Kinders, and now I'm doing weekly poems with my 4th, 5th, an 6th graders. I'll be pinning this for future reference. Thank you! 🙂

  2. I do love the daily interaction with the poem and your tech ideas. Can't wait to incorporate them. Thanks for sharing! We do weekly poems in our daily shared reading as well, and keep them in their organizational folder that goes home every day. What I love about them being in their take home folder is that the kid gets extra fluency practice with a familiar, fun read with their families. This equals success to me.

    I look forward to future posts from you! 🙂

  3. I LOVE this idea and would really like to use it next year in my classroom. I have the same question as Kristen G. Do you have a list of poems or a link to where you get all of them? Is there a specific pattern/theme to them?

  4. Amanda – I would be so grateful if you'd share your poems with me, too! I have been searching for first grade level poetry and havent been able to find a good resource. I love how you interact with ONE poem all week long, it's fantastic!!! Thanks for these great ideas.