Poetry Notebooks have been in my classroom since I started teaching 20 years ago! The poems have changed over the years as well as my focus, but the bottom line is poetry notebooks are here to stay! I always have a large chart with the poem for classroom instruction and individual student copies for the student poetry notebooks.
Poetry notebooks provide a home-school connection! Students take home their poetry notebooks once a month to share their poems with parents. This helps my students feel more confident with their reading and it helps parents feel connected and invested in their child's learning. I send home the books on a Friday and offer a small incentive to have them back by Monday! This year, it is as simple as a sticker!
Poetry notebooks provide the perfect structure to practice skills in context! In pre-k, we look for letters and sounds throughout the poem. Later in the year, we will be looking for beginning sight words. We practice tracking words with out fingers and discuss rhyming words. In first grade, we just bumped it up a notch. We looked for spelling patterns, contractions and yes, even reviewed rhyming words there too! The students love using a yellow highlighter as we review these skills!
Poetry notebooks offer that repeated exposure which can in turn increase fluency. As students point to each word as they read and reread the poems, their brains are making connections to the written word. In my poetry notebooks, I have included rebus pictures throughout the poem to help the students decode words and make connections as they read. This helps pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and struggling firsties feel successful. When students feel that success, they are more inclined to reread the poems again.
At the end of the school year, students have a collection of poems to take home and share. This is especially beneficial to those students who come from homes that do not have a lot of books. This allows students to practice reading over the summer and prevents them for taking the "summer slide". Students can lose one to three months of instruction if they are not actively engaged in learning over the summer. We work too hard to allow that to happen. This is just one more resource to help prevent that! You can click on the pictures below to find these resources on TpT.
My focus is on nursery rhymes, songs and short poems to promote reading in the early grades! Be on the lookout for the upcoming months and a growing bundle to help you save! You can follow me on Teachers pay Teachers to make sure you don't miss any updates!