Thursday, September 3, 2015


Oh, you know how much I love, love, love nursery rhymes and poems. Besides nurturing fluency, brain researchers suggest memorizing poems increases short-term memory. I’ve got dozens of rhymes on my website and the internet is overflowing with one that will be just right for your class.
Each week write a poem on a chart and introduce it on Monday. Read over the rhyme using different strategies suggested below. Review the rhyme each day and then on Friday read and review rhymes from previous weeks.

Give children pocket folders to decorate to make their own “poetry books.” Each week give them a copy of the rhyme to illustrate and save in their books. They can take their books home over the weekend to share with their families.

Try choral reading with these strategies:

Shadow Reading – Teacher reads a line and then students repeat.

Magic Word – Choose a “magic word” (high frequency word) in the text. Every time you come to that word, the children get to clap, jump, snap, etc.

Say What? Read the wrong way and have children correct you by shouting out, “Say what?”

Missing Word – Omit a word and have the children fill it in.

Read with me IF you…like chocolate ice cream
      like broccoli         have a dog
      can ride a bike     are wearing red

Stand and Read – Children stand and take a small step to the right for each word. At end of the line jump “down” to the next line. Everyone moves back to the left and quickly moves to the right with every word until the end of the next line. Repeat until the end of the poem.

Take a Turn
- Divide children into groups and each section reads a different line. For example: Let boys and girls alternate reading lines.

Got Cha! – Whenever the teacher yells, “Got Cha!,” the students must pick up reading.

Voice Box – Go to my website and download “fluency cards.” Place these in a small box and let students choose a voice and then lead classmates in reading the rhyme.