Thursday, August 15, 2013

Poetry Journals

Each week, my class learns a new poem.  The poem is a part of our morning slideshow so we read it everyday.  On Monday, I read it to them once and then we echo read it.  On Tuesday, we echo read after me, and then choose a student to echo read after.  On Wednesday, we echo read after a student, and then choral read it.  On Thursday, we choral read it, and then they read it to their shoulder-partners.  On Friday, they read it to themselves with their whisper phones.  I choose poems that go with our current theme.  We glue the poems into journals and the kids take them home to read to their parents.  I made all of the pages for the poems so they also have activities.  For example - next week, we are learning short a.  Our poem is called A-A-Animals.  It is full of short a words.  The kids will highlight all the short a words and then we brainstorm animals that have a short a in their names.  I make a list of these on the board and then they draw one in their journal.  This is just one example of how the journals are used.  We do TONS of fun stuff with them. 

Making the journals is tedious, but in the end it is so worth it!  I print a cover with each child's name on cute printer paper.  I glue this to 9x12 construction paper.  I laminate this front cover and a blank paper for the back cover.  I cut cardstock into strips that are 3" by 8.5".  I hole-punch one side with my binding machine.   These serve as the "pages" for our book.  I bind it all together with a binding comb.  The pages will be glued to these strips.  If the cover were made with a standard 8.5x11 paper, the inside pages would stick out.  That is why I use 9x12 covers.

 Because I want these to last all year, I run a line of E6000 glue along the spine.  You DO know about E600, right?  BEST glue EVER!!!  Each week, a new poem is glued to these little strips.  This makes a really nice poetry book for the kids to keep at the end of the year.  It is like a memory book/portfolio. 

Poems are WONDERFUL for building fluency, working on rhymes and building confidence in beginning readers.  Making these journals takes me about 8 hours from start to finish, but they are a wonderful resource all year long. 

Do you use poetry journals in your classroom?  If you have any ideas, questions, or suggestions, please share them in the comments.  Thanks for reading!


Anonymous said...

Great idea! I am just wondering why you have the cover of the book so much larger than the poem pages?

Autumn Morrison said...

Great question! I just edited the post to explain that a bit better. If the cover were 8.5x11, the inside pages would stick out. Using 9x12 helps them line up with the cover. Thanks for the question! :)

Levitta Guy said...

Please explain more of your concept I am having a hard time visualizing this process.

Autumn Morrison said...

You laminate two 9x12 pieces of construction paper. These serve as the cover. Cut strips of cardstock into about 8.5X3 inch strips. Pages will get glued to the front and back of each strip. I have about 36 poems so my journals will have 18 strips each. Every week, we get a new poem and it is glued to this little strip. The next week, another page is glued to the back side of last week's poem (sandwiching the strip between the two pages). This process continues until all the strips hold pages into the journal. Does that make sense?

Jamie Scism said...

I was wondering if you have the poems that you use available for sale or to share? I love this idea and would like to implement it next year!

Autumn Morrison said...

I use poems that go with my reading series. Our story last week was about a vet, so I found a poem about animals. I have several teacher resource poetry books that I get poems out of. Sometimes, I find poems online. I can't really share the poems I use, because of copyright laws. I will definitely make a list of my favorite resources when I get to school tomorrow. I will probably be able to post it tomorrow night. Thanks for your question. It is always nice to know that somebody is actually reading this! :)

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