July 23, 2012

Poems, Poems, Poems!

So, EVERYONE uses poems in their classrooms, right? Ok...I know not everyone does, but everyone SHOULD!!! I use them like crazy! The kids love them! And, they are a perfect means for teaching all kinds of early literacy skills! Just stop and think for ten seconds about all the skills you can teach with a poem...

...tracking print, voice-print matching, letters, letter sounds, high-frequency words, word families, parts of speech, blends, digraphs...

I could go on for an hour! But...I haven't even mentioned the most important ones yet!!

At the heart and soul of a successful reader, you will find a solid foundation of phonological awareness (PA) skills. (Early childhood teachers...I'm talking to you, here!) We  should   need to  MUST teach these skills to our prekinders, kinders, and even firsties! So, that being said, let me continue with my list!

...rhyming words, beginning sounds, ending sounds, middle sounds, blending sounds, segmenting sounds, alliteration, syllables, onset/rime...

I could keep going, but I'll spare you this time! The thing to remember about all of these PA skills is that you DON'T do them with print. They are done orally. (If they can't do it without print, they can't do it with print!) So, the kiddos aren't finding two printed words that rhyme. They are listening for words that rhyme. They are clapping syllables in words. They are stretching a word out to hear each sound in that word. And, my favorite way to get them doing this is with...you guessed it! POETRY!!!

We start by reading and singing songs and poems purely for the enjoyment of it. Sometimes we use motions, puppets, or props. But, sometimes we just have fun reading! Once the kids know the poem by heart, I take away the poetry card and start asking them PA questions about words from the poem. We still use motions, puppets, and props for different PA skills whenever we can! I make a game out of it so that it is FUN!! The really cool thing is that, after we've done it for awhile, I start hearing and seeing them doing it on their own in centers with the familiar poetry cards they are using!

In the past, my poetry cards have come from files I have purchased. But, this year I am needing poems that fit a little more specifically with what I am doing in my room. So...I'm making them myself! I just finished my first poetry pack and posted it on TPT! This first one has four poems that I can plug the kids names into. I'm going to use them a ton at the beginning of the year when we are all learning our new friends' names. For each poem, I made a large version that I will make into my poetry cards, a small version for the kids to take home or put into a poetry notebook, and a pocket chart set for my kiddos that are ready to match the words and build the sentences. I'm pretty excited about it! Hop on over to TPT and check it out!

Oh...and here's the best part! I'll send a free copy to the first three fabulous teachers who comment on this post!! Happy Monday!!


  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog! Love poems! :)

    Glad we can be blog buddies!


    1. Email me at mrsasroom35@gmail.com and I'll send you the Names Poetry Pack! Hope you enjoy it!! :)

  2. Thanks for visiting my blog! Glad to have you as a follower! I am a big believer in poems too!! I mean, who isn't!?!?!? Can't wait to follow and keep reading!

    Debbie :-)
    K is for Kinderrific

    1. Just sent you the Names Poetry Pack! Hope you enjoy it!

  3. Stephanie, I know I'm not the top three but I have to say that this looks great! Thank you for having it, and your poetry post! I LOVE using poetry with my firsties!
    Also, thanks for stopping by and following my blog, I'm following yours now too!
    Laugh Live Love Learn

    1. Actually, you are number 3! I just sent you the Names Poetry Pack! Hope you enjoy it!

  4. Hi Stephanie,
    Thanks for stopping by my blog!! I love your poetry pack and it is on my TPT wish list! I am your newest follower!
    Ms Jones Junction

  5. Hi! Thanks for checking out my site...had to "hop" on over to yours too! SOOOO cute! Looking forward to sharing great ideas in the future! Blessings to you...AND your BLOG! Excited to follow you!

  6. We have just finished a whole term on poetry, and my class just loved every minute! Off to have a peek around your blog...
    ✿ Judy
    teaching with J

  7. I just gave you the Versatile Blogger Award!!! Hop on over to my page to check it out!
    Rita :)
    Wild About School!