Spring is Here Blog Hop


This week I'm hoppin' around with some other fun literacy bloggers. We are joining up to bring you some ideas for poetry fun. Although April is National Poetry Month, you know how I feel. Poetry should not be a "month long spring fling" as Lori Ockzus and Timothy Rasinski stated so perfectly in their recent preview article for their ILA co-session, Five Ideas That Work: Positively Poetry. Poetry should be read, written, practiced and enjoyed year-round, even daily.

For my contribution to the poetry blog hop, I would like formally introduce my newest line of literacy products...Poems for Fluency.  Now when I say fluency, you probably all think of reading fluency, right?  True. True.  However, fluency (in real life) also known as cognitive fluency, is simply two things...automaticity (without thinking) and familiarity (known information).  Like you may have heard me say, a great example of cognitive fluency is consumer economics. Why do we frequent the same restaurants over and over? Why do we order the same entree off the menu at every new visit? Why do we stick to the same brands of clothes or cars, over and over again?  The answer to all of these questions is cognitive fluency. We know what to expect, we know we like it and we don't have to think of something new to order or buy. When our brain is in auto-pilot, we don't have to make so many consumer decisions, our cognitively fluent brain does it for us.

In this product, students will be both be practicing reading fluency by reading original rhyming poems daily, and repeating the reading of them daily and every day after the original day AND students will also have the opportunity to practice writing the poem.  So, I know what you're thinking...."writing the poem? Like copying the poem?" YES. Copying the poem. Here's the rationale behind this work, without even beginning to mention how it expands oral language abilities, written language abilities, content knowledge and vocabulary, social knowledge and cultural/community awareness, author's point of view, voice, phonics patterns, grammar, figurative language, inferences, syntax, print concepts, and phonological awareness. Have I convinced you yet how great this is for kids?  If not, read more.

The reason I created this product is because there is mounds and mounds of research that reading and rereading poems increases reading fluency.  I have created two pocket three prong Poetry folders for my students for years as a consistent way for students to get daily practice in reading and rereading the same text. Fluency expert, Timothy Rasinski, says, “too often students do not get enough opportunities to read and reread the same text at least 3-5 times before more new text is introduced.” And, for the most part, teachers know this and there is a wealth of resources out there for practicing reading fluency.

Do you remember when teachers used to ask students to copy writing off the board? Do students ever do that anymore? Not really. When it comes to written word production, we leave it all up to the students, from the creativity to the time frame. However, I have a growing concern that today’s students, especially in the primary grades, do not get enough time to practice and increase their writing fluency.  Writing fluency can be defined in several different ways—as creators and of their own writing and as producers of writing.  When students create and invent their own writing from the stories in their head, they are doing both the cognitive work of creating the story, encoding the letters and producing the letters on paper. In addition, they are developing fine motor skills in short bursts. As teachers, we want them to develop as creative writers and authors, but this process can be slow and labored, and students learn much about the how letters, sounds out stories work. Even worksheets of today do not require students to write that much. They fill in a letter here, circle something there, connect the dots, or cut and glue matching pieces, which all require motor skills, but do not help students develop as endurance writers or develop their writing stamina. The “Read and Copy” portion of this product is designed to develop students as writing producers, not necessarily for speed, but for urgency.  Too often I see students who take 20-30 minutes to write something that should take them 5. This part of the product isn’t about creativity or originality, or even cognitive demand. It’s about raising awareness of written word production. It’s about focus and persevering to start and finish something in a short amount of time. (The circles in the upper right corner of the Read & Copy sheets were put there so students can record the time it took them to completely write the poem.) It is designed to be completed in one short sitting.

*If you teach in a state like North Carolina that assesses reading comprehension through written response after student's read a story on an iPad, you know the frustration when students can orally tell you the answer to reading comprehension questions but when asked to show their comprehension in writing, they are unable to write long responses or unreasonably complain, “my hand is tired” after one line of text. This product is designed to avoid this frustration by strengthening students’ hand muscles through daily word production practice, to increase writing production stamina and speed. 

If you (or your principal) need justification of standards met while reading and writing my poetry packs, between the reading and writing component of this product, students will working on several ELA standards daily:

RL.10, RIT.10 - Engage in group reading activities: Read independently & proficiently
RIT.6,8 - Determine author's point of view and author's opinion
RFS.1 - Print Concepts: Reading & Writing from left to right, top to bottom, return sweep and 1-1 correspondence
RFS.3 - Know and apply phonics and decoding skills: letters, sounds, words, sight words
RFS.4 - Read emergent text with purpose and accuracy to increase fluency
W.7 - Participate in shared writing experiences
L.1 - Demonstrate command of conventions of English
L.2 - Demonstrate command of proper puncuation
L.4 - Learn new vocabulary, like nouns, favorite things and grade level language

If you click on the free sample above, you can download 2 free poems and 2 free Read & Copy sheets (this rationale is also included in the sampler).

The full products come with 20 poems for each month in two ways: full sheets of just the poem for class and home use, and half-sheets for writing stamina practice.  In addition, there is a book cover sheet and a stamina graph so students can become more aware of how long it's actually taking them to get words transferred to their paper...whether it's from their brain to the paper or another paper to the paper, the graph helps students see and set writing stamina goals.

These poems are currently available for the months of March and April (May will be out next week), and are priced at $4.00 per month, OR, available as part of a growing bundle, that if purchased now, you save 50% over purchasing them by the month.

As the months are completed, I add them to the growing bundle, and you pay now more because you paid for it up front at discounted price.  (Note: the growing bundle will not always be 50%, when most of the months are added, I will reduce it to a 25% discount, so if the Growing Poem Bundle is on your wishlist, you might want to pick it up.)  The growing poem bundle will include all 12 months of the year.

Thanks so much for visiting today.  Lori at Conversations in Literacy is up next to share another way she uses poetry with her groups.


Have a great hop and come back soon!



Carla @ Comprehension Connection said...

Such great information. Developing a concept of word is the first step to becoming a reader and certainly, there is much research on the reading and writing connection. Great product!

Wendy @ Read With Me ABC said...

Love reading your blog! I always learn something new. :)

Colleen Noffsinger said...

Love ALL of your work ALL of the time. :) Thanks for sharing! By the way, I "tweeted" out that ILA link you mentioned earlier today. It's fabulous and very informative. :)
Literacy Loving Gals

ih said...

thanks for sharing..

ih said...

thanks for sharing.. :)

Back to Top