Wednesday, April 15, 2015

I Heart Poetry

Probably stating the obvious when I say that April is poetry month.  I love poetry.  I love how it can help reluctant writers write.  I love reading Love That Dog to my class (written by the lovely Sharon Creech) and watching their faces as Jack transforms throughout the short, written-in-verse novel.

I don't love that I don't have time to fit in the poem of the week, a feature I so loved during my third grade years of the past.  I'd introduce the new poem on Monday and read it to the class.  We'd talk about what they noticed (always an interesting conversation!)  Tuesday, we'd read it chorally.  Wednesday, they'd get a copy on their desk and they'd read it to themselves for welcome work.  Thursday they'd do an activity with the poem for welcome work.  Friday was performance day, where the risk-takers could volunteer to read the poem to the class.  (FYI: by the end of the first semester, they were ALL risk-takers.)

I can't imagine why there isn't time in my schedule for that anymore.....

Not one to easily give up, I finally found a solution that isn't great, but is workable.  We don't get our weekly poems.  Sometimes we'll have one as part of reading or content, but that's usually rare, too.  The sign that says "Poem of the Week" is lonely, and I just don't want to take it down....


April being poetry month and all, every single morning of the month, the class walks in to a poem on their desk for welcome work.  They read it to themselves, to each other, do an activity on the back, and then if we have time, we'll take a few risk takers.  This means my kids will be exposed to approximately 20 poems.  That also means they'll be getting some bonus fluency practice.

And at the end of the year, as part of our celebration of learning, we're going to revisit those poems.  Call it performance art if you will, but my vision is that they will pull out their poetry binder, and in partners or teams, pick two poems to perform for the class.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this works.  Cause I know I want to see these pieces!

(Did I mention that about half the poems are songs?  Fun stuff!)

So far, all good, and they are loving poetry!

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