Poem of the week is an integral part of my day in kindergarten.
Let’s be real teachers don’t have time to do any program that makes their day harder.
Teachers need a process for making their lives easier while enriching the lives of their students.
Consistent routines with poem of the week
Even though this was a benefit to students, it is also a benefit to teachers.
Teachers can easily relay the routines encompassed in poem of the week to their students and any other adults in the classroom.
The routines are so ingrained in the classroom that even substitutes can quickly learn the routine and the students can help them do it.
Though routines are created for a Monday through Friday school week, routines can easily be adapted for shorter weeks.
Introduction and site words can all be on the first day for a four day weekly routine.
Easy Planning with POTW
Another time consuming task that teachers face every day is lesson planning.
In most school systems time is not provided for elementary teachers during the school weak to accommodate future planning.
Poem of the Week makes lesson planning easy.
Not only are lesson plans similar week after week and teachers merely have to fill in titles, sight words, and art projects to their planning document, center planning is made easy as well.
The cyclical nature of poem of the week allows teacher to introduce and guide work through the new poem but it also helps teachers plan for the following weeks in independent centers.
For example, teachers may introduce during week 1 and plan for poetry folder using the differentiated cloze poems during Week 2 and students can order the lines of text and illustrate the poem for week 3.
After introducing the poem in week one teachers can also put supplemental materials such as read write glue draw, lift the flap, and comprehension puzzles in separate centers the following week.
center activities with POTW
The supplemental center activities provided in each poem of the week set can include poetry center, art center, make a book center, lift the flap center, order the lines of text reading center, pocket chart center, and comprehension center.
Likewise while students are in independent centers teachers can use small group center pages from the set to practice 1 to 1 matching and sentence segmentation.
integrating curriculum with POTW
One of my favorite parts of poem of the week is that it integrates science social studies holidays and themes into the reading time.
4 lines of text can have a big impact on introducing and practicing social studies skills such as maps, science skills such as shadows, holidays such as presidents day and themes such as leaves.
When students hear information multiple times during the day the information 10s to be more clearly understood.
poem of the week supports the home/school connection
Finally, my classroom parents always knew there would be a new poem every week.
I told my parents to always ask their students about the poem.
It was a great way for them to get to know what was going on in our classroom without asking the dreaded, “What did you do today?” and getting the shrug.
My parents also knew homework each week was related to the poem of the week that was previously taught.
This way there’s children had a working knowledge of the poem and parents could help practice that poem and extend it.
Each week they received a site word homework with a tic tac toe board of nine options working with the poem and a second board with nine options working with the new sight words.
Students needed to complete three activities on each of these boards preferably making a tic tac toe but it wasn’t required. Some of these home activities required writing some did not.
Some could be done in the car at a sibling’s soccer practice and the parent could help. With a little side note, I’d like to say homework was never required in my class. Students always got new homework sheets on Monday and I asked that they be returned on Friday unless there were problems that week.
If parents simply didn’t have time to get it done during the week they get turned in on Monday if it worked for them to do practice on the weekends.
I also understand students work outside of school wasn’t their own.
Parents told them to get in the car to go where they needed to go and students didn’t have control over that. So putting demands on work at home has never been my priority.
If you’d like to learn more about my homework ideas check out this blog post: Homework: Making the Best Choices for Practice, Review, and Independence.
I could go on and on about the benefits of using poem of the week in your classroom.
This poem can help throughout the day with practice in a variety of skill areas and with reading fluency.
Poem of the week also help student feel success with reading. The poems can be put in a weekly folder and they can be used for independent reading or read a self time.
I stand behind this routine and I would be happy to answer any questions or help with any planning to set up this system in your classroom.
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