Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Teacher Tip Tuesday: Poem of the Week Notebook

Every teacher knows that extending learning at home is an essential part of a quality educational experiences. At the beginning of the year, ask each parent to buy a small vinyl notebook like this. Each week, feature a different poem, nursery rhyme, song, or fingerplay. Make a copy and put it in each child's notebook on Monday and send it home that evening. Each night, the parent and child should read their poem or song together. The families should send the notebook back to school on Friday (so that you can add a new poem on Monday).

The parents and children in my classroom loved this idea because they could go back and re-read their favorite poem and at the end of the year, each child had a nice collection of poems from the entire year.

Whatever poem I would send home would also be featured in our classroom on chart paper. I would laminate the charts so that we could use dry-erase markers to write on them - sometimes we would circle our letter of the week, other times we might find a word that we recognize. Throughout the week the children would share this learning with their families each night.

If you are a teacher of infants/toddlers/twos you can adapt this concept by still asking parents to provide the notebook and sending home poems or songs bi-weekly or monthly. Parents will appreciate being able to sing or recite some of the songs they may hear their toddlers trying to repeat.

Other adaptations:
  • If you have parents that speak other languages, ask them to either teach you a song/poem in their language or to translate a familiar song/poem. It's a great way to incorporate various languages into your program.
  • For some poems, you may want to type and print them. But for others, I suggest writing them. These days children see a great deal of typed text (computers, books, etc) so seeing handwriting is good for them!
  • Allow children to illustrate the poems on Monday before putting them in their notebooks. They will be additionally excited to show their family their illustration in addition to reading the poem.
Some songs/poems I used in the fall include:
There are a ton of poems/songs/fingerplays to choose from. What are your favorites?

Happy Reading,

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