I have unshakable faith in children. They always show me the way. ♥

Thursday, May 7, 2009

poetry work stations...

Jenny wondered about some of the literacy work stations in our class that connect to the poem we learn that week. I've uploaded two pictures to show examples.

This one is our Pocket Chart Work Station. It's pretty simple: pocket chart, basket, pointer, envelopes. On a 9x12 mailing envelope, I glue a copy of the poem and then laminate the folder. I write the poem on sentence strips, then cut apart the words and put them into the envelope. At the work station, children have the choice of reading poems directly from the charts or putting together the poem and then reading it. This is a new(ish) station, as I haven't done it in many years. What I hope to do better next year is enlist the help of the children for other I can... ideas for this station. (example: include some Word Study as well...)

This station is very preparation heavy, but all on the early end. Once each poem has been made, it doesn't need to be made again, though words get lost every once in a while and need to be replaced. Here's how I make the tools for this station: First I print a copy of the poem (generally in 18 or 20 point font, Comic Sans or Century Gothic). I cut apart every word in the poem and glue them on brightly colored card stock. I also make a smaller copy of the entire poem for reference and glue that on the card stock as well. I laminate it (or cover it all with clear packing tape), then pour myself a glass of wine, for the next part is seriously tedious. I cut out tiny pieces of adhesive velcro (the scratchy hook side) and affix them to the back of each individual, laminated word, then cut each word out. See? Tedious. All the velcro words go into a ziploc bag along with the smaller copy of the poem that's been mounted and laminated.

I've made a couple of velcro boards on scrap pieces of cardboard by affixing adhesive velcro (the soft side this time) across it in strips. Though, really a piece of felt or a carpet square could serve just as well. In fact, we always use a carpet rectangle (ours are not squares) as the base for this station because it lets the kids spread the words out and keeps the words from sliding off the table. This is our Poetry Work Station.

The kids also get their own copy of the poem on paper that they illustrate and put into a binder. We call that work station Poetry Binders. There are many other options: putting a selection of poems on acetate for an Overhead Projector station, recording a selection of six or seven recent poems (or having the kids do so!) for use at the Listening Work Station, even creating mini stick puppets to go along with a poem and putting them into a Drama Work Station. All of these I've done before, but don't happen to be doing this year for various reasons.

Question to readers: what other literacy work stations do you use that you find the children enjoy and get a lot out of?


Jenny said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing! I'd be thrilled to see what others have to say as well.

By the way, we have carpet rectangles too. Are there actual squares out there or have been using an incorrect name all these years?

kirsten said...


I hope this was helpful. It was fun to type it all out and reflect upon ways to improve upon things.

I don't think I've ever seen actual carpet squares. A few years ago a kindergartener pointed out that they were not squares, so I've been calling them 'carpet rectangles' ever since!

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