Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Poems & Flare

This week, I decided to have the book take center stage. I wanted to showcase one of my favorite poets that writes for children - Valerie Worth. There is just something about the deep simplicity of the poems in all the small poems and fourteen more by Valerie Worth. I decided to capture this book with some flare from the sun after reading the poem entitled sun in this book. Here's a taste of that poem:
The sun
Is a leaping fire

Too hot

To go near...

Poems are the perfect size to practice reading with fluency. To be fluent is to be able to speak or write smoothly, easily, or readily. Or as I like to put it, "To read so it sounds like you're talking." We know from the current body of reading research that being able to read fluently enables the reader to focus on comprehension. If the reader has to spend all of her brain power on decoding words, little is left for her to remember or understand what she read. One strategy to practice reading fluently is to read the same text several times (around 4 repeated readings). When asking a child to read a poem more than once, it is helpful to have a purpose for each reading. Here are some purposes: to read/perform the poem for someone else, to understand what you read, to figure out what the author wants you to learn or understand, to learn what a certain word means...

Do you have a favorite poet or piece of poetry? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Leave me a comment and let me know what you're reading these days. Happy reading!


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