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About Me

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I am a first grade teacher who has rediscovered a love for firsties this year. I have taught pre-k, kindergarten, first grade and even second over the past 16 years. I have been married for 17 years to my wonderful husband and have been blessed with 2 very active boys.

Pre-K Back to School

Pre-K Back to School
Pre-K Back to School

Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy
Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy
Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

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The Value of Poetry for Young Learners

Poetry is an integral part of my classroom for so many reasons.  Children naturally love songs and rhymes as they connect with the rhythm of the language. In early childhood, poetry consists of songs, poems and nursery rhymes.  Nursery rhymes are the forgotten genre and so many children lose out on the magic that comes with them.

Large charted poems allow children to participate in a whole group setting, like a big book would during story time.  Each week, I introduce a new poem from Monthly Poetry with Rebus Pictures.  We engage with the poem for about 5 minutes a day during our literacy circle and by Friday, my student show ownership of the poem!  The poem then gets added to our growing list of songs, poems and nursery rhymes for transitional moments from walking in line to the playground to attention getters in the classroom.

We reread the poem daily and focus on a different skill each day. Some may even call in Close Reading for beginning readers! Our student are interacting with the text in the poem in different ways.

Poetry notebooks provide the perfect structure to practice skills in context!  In pre-k, we look for letters and sounds throughout the poem.  Later in the year, we will be looking for beginning sight words.  We practice tracking words with out fingers and discuss rhyming words.  In first grade, we just bumped it up a notch.  We looked for spelling patterns, contractions and yes, even reviewed rhyming words there too!  The students love using a yellow highlighter as we review these skills!
Poetry notebooks offer that repeated exposure which can in turn increase fluency.  As students point to each word as they read and reread the poems, their brains are making connections to the written word.  In our poetry notebooks, I have included rebus pictures throughout the poem to help the students decode words and make connections as they read.  This helps pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and struggling firsties feel successful.  When students feel that success, they are more inclined to reread the poems again.  

Poetry notebooks provide a great home-school connection! Students take home their poetry notebooks once a month to share the poems with their parents.  This helps build confidence in these young learners and it helps the families feel connected and invested in their child's learning.  I send home the books on Friday and offer a small incentive to return them on Monday! This year, it was as simple as a sticker!
At the end of the school year, students have a collection of poems to take home and share.  This is especially beneficial to those students who come from homes that do not have a lot of books.  This allows students to practice reading over the summer and prevents them for taking the "summer slide". More importantly though, our kids LOVE their poetry books and I have parents come back and tell me this was their favorite part of pre-k and their child still sings and chants the poems that were learned.  We have created a love for reading and learning!

The best part is there is minimal financial investment, a little time and a LOT of learning going on.
You can grab these materials to get started.  I have included affiliate links to help you out.


The Monthly Poetry with Rebus Pictures is an AMAZING DEAL and is on SALE this week HERE!
Each month is available individually as well.

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Mrs. Wathen
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  1. I love poetry notebooks too! I had not considered a Rebus version like you have here...but that is BRILLIANT for littles! Great post!!

  2. I love poetry notebooks too! I had not considered a Rebus version like you have here...but that is BRILLIANT for littles! Great post!!

  3. Are all the poems in your bundle rebus type? I too have done poem folders for years, but I really like the thought of rebus.

  4. Fabulous idea to introduce nutrition right after Halloween.,.,and I love that you used the theme in each subject!

    Blessings, Kenz


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