Why I Use Poetry Binders In My Classroom
Our Weekly Poetry Binder “Schedule”
Step One: What You Need
*Avery Binder with Clear Cover (We use 1 inch binders in my room)
*Small Avery UltraTabs
*Large 3 x 3.5 inch Avery UltraTabs
*3 Ring Hole Punch
*FREE Poetry Binder Printables (Link Below)
Step Two: Print Your Freebies
Slide the binder cover into the Avery Binder Front Clear Pocket. Cut out the corresponding sized spine label and insert it into the binder. Do you need a trick for getting those tricky spine labels into your binder? Bend the binder backward and then insert the spine label into the pocket. It creates more room and makes this task much easier!
Step Three: Adding the Table of Contents and Poems!
Step Four: It’s Poetry Time!!!
Adding, learning, reading, and singing our new poem or poems of the week is SO fun for my class! They are reading and building fluency without even knowing it. But reading and singing are not the only things we do with our poems. We also integrate phonics and sight word practice and review into our poetry binders. After all, poetry and songs are rich sources of text, so it makes sense to integrate our language instruction and fluency instruction together. We spend a lot of time at the beginning of the year looking and hunting for sight words. We highlight sight words we see and find in the poems, or sight words that we already have on our Word Wall. I might also introduce a new sight word and have the students highlight the word or draw a special circle around it. The goal is to completely engage with the text – on the fly! I know I have a few people who are reading this right now, wondering if I have a “master list” of what we hunt for in each poem. The answer is actually…no! I don’t have a list of which skill or which words we highlight for each poem. Why? Because every class is different, and I am a firm believer that educators have to do what is best for their individual group of students, not always what a scripted handout tells us to do. 😉 Because our poetry binders serve as supplemental practice and reinforcement for phonics and language skills, I have the flexibility to base what we highlight and discuss each week on what my students need in the moment.
There are always language discussions you can have with your students in EVERY piece of text. 🙂 In the photograph above, we quickly highlighted the rhyming words in our Riding the Bus poem. The important thing to remember is that this is a quick, easy, and no-prep mini-lesson (really mini), review, or introduction. Poetry binder time is meant to enhance fluency and quickly zero-in on a specific target goal you may want to address that day. I think it’s important to note that I do not always do “word hunts” with my students. Sometimes, we just read, sing, and enjoy!
Step Five: Use Ultra Tabs To Stay Organized
I can stick the tab with the words I want to focus on directly on the poem printable. It doesn’t ruin my teacher copy, and I can easily remember what I wanted to review!