Spring Has Sprung Blog Hop-Stop #2

Yes indeed, spring has sprung (at least in Blogland).  After a horrible winter, we most certainly are ready for Spring flowers and a break from winter snow.  As the weather changes, it's the perfect time for reading and writing weather themed poetry (or any poetry for that matter).  I am so glad that Rebecca at Line Upon Line has lined up this great hop for us this weekend, and I hope you enjoy it. My post today will focus on how poetry can be used to address reading and writing skills for early readers. I've been working the past two years with 4/5, but my love is K-2, and this post makes me miss them!

For kinders, a concept of word is developed through modeling and practice.  The picture left shows how I place a touch point for the words. I often do this with the students as we read.  Reading A-Z has wonderful stamps that you can put below the words to use as touch points or to use as a way of locating sightwords, words beginning with a certain sound, or ending with a certain sound.  Any stamp or symbol can be pasted within Word or Smartnotebook files. The buttons help the students match voice to word as COW develops.  Accurate pointing (voice to print matching) is the sign that students are ready to learn to read.  When teaching poems to my kinder groups, we work on sightword recognition and decoding skills as well.  In the picture below, you can see how CVC words can be boxed with Elkonin boxes for students to tap as they blend the sounds.  Students can also touch the "buttons" below each letter too.  Projecting nursery rhymes up on a Smartboard works well for practicing Concept of Word.
With my beginning readers, I love to use poetry to address fluency through repeated readings, choral and echo reading, and phrasing to build prosody.  Poems are great for working on sightword recognition too. Beginning readers love to read partner poems, and gradually more are being published.   In the picture to the right, you can see how this student marked the words in a highlighter hunt after we practiced phrasing. Teachers can also use slash marks to show where each phrase ends or alternated with different colored highlighters.  If  you enjoy partner work, you can have students read alternating phrases when the phrases are color coded.  When doing word hunts, another important point to consider is that not all words have to be sightwords.  Poems with graphically similar words such as through, though, and thought provide opportunities to discuss visual differences and the importance of using meaning clues.
To practice a few of these skills, here is a collection of four-lined weather themed poems that K/1 teachers can use to work on fluency, word recognition and COW.  I hope you'll enjoy using them.

The most important point is that with all poetry is intended to be read out loud and enjoyed for the beauty of the words or sounds.  Poetry is meant to be shared, so repeated reading provides a chance to discuss reader impressions.  One passion of mine is parental involvement, and for a long time, I've wanted to offer our families a Coffee House Night complete with jazz or orchestra music (we offer Suzuki violin in our schools) and poetry sharing.  It is a night where students share partner poems, humorous poetry, and reader's theatre over coffee and desserts.  Several years ago, author Brod Baggert visited our schools, and to this day, my oldest still remembers it.  Brod was just plain hilarious. He recited "Booger Love" to our group of families, and I can honestly say that the children were rolling on the floor while the parents were reaching for tissues. We teachers can appreciate the humor in "Booger Love", especially if you're in a primary grade.  This poem was part of his book, Giant Children, which I would recommend just for fun reading.  (The other poems are fun, but not as "yucky" as "Booger Love". I promise!)  

Another of Brod's books I came across recently at my favorite book find store, Ollie's, was Shout! Little Poems that Roar.  It is intended for the primary grades, so I'm sure the lucky winner of my giveaway will enjoy sharing it.  The poems include a more controlled vocabulary and are focused on topics important to the K/1 crowd.  

The last book I am including in my giveaway is School Fever.  This is Brod's newest book.  It's intended audience is grades 1-3.  

Good luck in the giveaway, and thanks for dropping by for a look at poetry for the elementary grades. I hope you enjoy the ideas and my freebie.

Thanks for hopping by today, and enjoy the new ideas you collect along the way.  Stephanie at The Learning Chamber has some great information to share next, so click the button below and hop on over to check it out and have a great weekend!

[name=Meet Carla] [img=https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-NINt3dPg7WU/XFpOITn00vI/AAAAAAAAdnI/ko-OugXgmDozCM6eyEtPUWmmdvd9iYDzwCLcBGAs/s1600/profile%2Bpicture.reduced.png] [description=Retired Reading Specialist and Literacy Coach with 27 Years of Service | Passionate about All Things Literacy | Mom of Two Kids and a Fur Baby Named Molly]