Working with Poems in First Grade

Each week students in First Grade use a multi-level approach to improve their reading skills. The poems contain wonderful vocabulary that are not necessarily found on first grade word list. This week’s poem was by Judith Viorst, and the video below shows them reading it outloud together. The fluent readers are learning more about vocabulary and rhythm, while the emergent readers are memorizing. Both skills will give children confidence as readers. Tracking words with their eyes as Mr. Bishop points to each word and taps out the syllables stimulates their brains to internalize patterns and improves reading at all levels. Word patterns are circled; new rhyming words are discussed; chosen words are alphabetized. Often a word is covered before the children read it the first time so that they must use context clues to discover an appropriate word. There are endless teaching points available, and the enjoyment is evident. Poems are sent home each week for students to share with their family, and at the end of the year each child has a meaningful collection as well as a cherished memory of First Grade at ESK.

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