Poetry Notebooks

When we work with poetry, students work with concepts of print and spelling patterns.

Punctuation Marks. . .highlighter.tape

Challenge students to find the punctuation marks.  Circle periods, question marks, and exclamation points in red.  Red means “STOP” and these marks STOP a sentence.  Discuss what each punctuation mark means.  Learn their names.  We also highlight commas, as well as learn their name and function.  We practice “taking a breath” when we read our poem/rhyme/chant/song – - whenever a comma is present.  For quotation marks, we highlight them with blue or some other color that is different than red and yellow.  We practice naming quotation marks and learning their function.  We try to stay away from calling quotation marks “talking marks” – - although the children learn both names.

Sight Words. . .

Challenge students to find the sight words within the text.  We highlight or circle them with green or blue.  Caution students to not get sloppy when working with the text.  Over zealous students tend to color the words too hard and have been known to color right through their paper or make the word so dark that it we can’t read it after it was colored!

Read, Read, and Read. . .

Students benefit from repeated readings.  Mix up the way that a poem is read by asking students to:

  • choral read the text

  • dramatize the text

Guess the Covered Word . .

Play “Guess the Covered Word” during the initial read through of the poem/chant/rhyme/song.

Tools of the Trade. . .

Spice up your shared reading lessons by using various tools of the trade!

  • Wikki Stix

  • Pointers

  • Highlighter Tape

  • Post It Notes

  • Reading Glasses – - funky reading glasses/sunglasses for a “guest read through”

Poetry Notebook Materials

Poetry Notebook Supplies - MeachamStudents use markers, color pencils, highlighters, or crayons to circle high frequency words and identify punctuation.  We go through a lot of glue sticks, as it is our preferred type of adhesive when adding poetry to our notebooks.  We have had poetry notebooks using 3-pronged folders, 3-pronged binders, and notebooks.  My preferred method is to use 3-pronged binders.  Students either used page protectors, or used a 3-hole punch to add their poetry to the binder.

Shared Reading

Poetry Shared Reading - Meacham

Shared Reading provides my class with an opportunity to gather at the carpet and share in the reading experience.  Enlarged text is a must!  We use Big Books (purchased or teacher created) and Charts (poems/songs/rhymes/chants).  Many of our science and social studies standards are covered during our Shared Reading time.  Our monthly Shared Reading routine generally follows the same pattern.  The first half of the month, we enjoy reading the selections, discussing them, and generally familiarizing ourselves with them.  During the second half the month, we take a closer look at each selection, and we add it to our poetry notebooks.  The poems and songs below have been used with K and 1st students.

Shared Reading Poetry

download-icon Click the image above to view the eBook which highlights many of the poems that are available for downloading/printing.

100th Day Wall Puzzle

Looking for a unique way to count up to the 100th day of school?  Build a puzzle!




  1. Assemble the puzzle on a piece of cardboard.
  2. Use another piece of cardboard to flip the puzzle over.
  3. Number each piece from 1 to 100 working clockwise from outside to inside.
  4. Make 10 groups of puzzle pieces and place each group into a baggie.
  5. Cut a piece of construction paper the exact dimensions of the puzzle.
  6. Glue the construction paper to the cardboard.
  7. Add mounting tape to each corner of the cardboard.
  8. Mount the cardboard on the board or wall.
  9. Each day of school add a puzzle piece to wall.



100s.day.puzzle.6 100s.day.puzzle.5 100s.day.puzzle.4 100s.day.puzzle.3 100s.day.puzzle.2 calendar.wall.days.of.school.puzzle

Clean Slate, Fresh Start

Ever need a “redo” in your life?  We’re lucky that we get a “redo” every new school year.


One of my favorite things to “redo” is room arrangement.  For room arrangement I consider, traffic flow, work spaces, and teaching spaces.

The room is always emptied every summer when the floors get scrubbed and waxed.  It’s a great time to consider room arrangement.  I consider what went well the previous year, and what needs to change.  There really is only one “must do” in my classroom – and that’s the SMARTboard and computer location.  The location for those two items is dictated by where the drop is, and therefore I always have my whole group meeting area there, but everything else is up in the air.

As far as room decoration/theme…(besides the calming, blue wall) I have none.  The walls are bare when students come.  Really!  My students help me to add things to the walls.  We add things that archive our learning.

If you ever get a chance to start with a clean slate, try to remove all of your room’s contents.  Really!  I know it sounds daunting, but bringing each piece, each item in separately is really meaningful.  For two reasons:

1.  You can decide if it’s really needed.

2.  You decide where it best fits in the grand scheme (movement, teaching, working).

Be reflective.  Be thoughtful.  Be intentional.