Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Building Fluency With Poetry

This week I have had so much fun teaching my guided reading groups. Several of my guided reading groups are reading chapter books and one of them is working mainly on fluency. Typically, I struggle to manage having three different chapter books going at one time. My biggest issue was I felt like students were forgetting what they had read by the time I was able to meet with their group again. One of my teamies on second grade suggested I have each group read a two chapters a week for homework and together we will read two chapters in our guided reading groups. This has finally worked out and I am feeling good about it.

My fluency group is working on using poetry to build fluency. At the beginning of the year I had students doing the Great Poetry Race but I wanted to integrate this more with the skills I was teaching. After searching the internet for a resource I came across Primary Education Oasis who has a downloadable book with a poem for each week of the year. Each poem comes with activities to do with it. I was so excited about this book that I revamped my whole group. This week I made each of my students a poetry notebook. Now when we meet they bring their notebook to the group. I meet with my fluency group each day. On Monday, I read the poem to them and have them create a mental image. Then we choral read, whisper read and clap to the beat of the poem. After we meet students glue their poem in their book and illustrate a picture to go with it. This week I gave them a quick lesson on what these pictures should look like. Together we made a rubric anchor chart. Then I took a picture of the chart and glued it in their book so they could always look at it when they were illustrating.

On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday I use the activities from the poetry lesson I bought. The thing I love about these lessons is that students use the poem to work on story elements, grammar, phonics and much more. On Friday students present their poem to the class in our Poetry Cafe.

To bring in the home element students take home their poetry book each night and read it to their families. Every person they read it to signs their name on the next page. I ask students to read it to at least 10 people. The student with the most signatures wins a lunch date with a friend.

I also leave the poem in our fluency center. During Daily Five students record themselves reading the poem on a tape and then listen to it. My kids love hearing themselves on tape!

Click here to download a free sample of this lesson book.
reading fluency strategies


  1. Wow! Looks great. I love teaching poetry. I love it, and my kids love it too.

    Thanks for sharing! I'm your newest follower.


  2. I have a weekly poetry journal, too! It amazes me how it helps make reluctant readers feel more successful.

    Emily @ Second Grade Silliness 

  3. I would love to have your book!
    I am following your pinterest account and always
    read your blog.

  4. I follow your Pinterest account. Great giveaway. :)

  5. i follow your pinterest account! This is a fabulous giveaway.


  6. Following your Pinterest account :)

    Awesome Giveaway!
    Ashley :)

  7. We are just starting our poetry unit this week! I could soooo use this! I posted on pinterest and am following you there. :) Pick me!! Pick Me!!!! lol

    1. Suzy, you are the winner! Contact me for your free download! smp4486@yahoo.com

  8. i would love this book love poetry following on pinterest

  9. I followed your Pinterest account. I am a student teacher on my way to my final semester and this would be a phenomenal resource to add to my new collection!