Tuesday, August 5, 2014

I Can Read Poetry Binders {Poem of the Week Activities}

Okay!  I promised I would be back today to blog about my "I Can Read" poetry binders, so here I go!  As you may have read yesterday, I spent the last five days compiling all of the poems my team uses for shared reading.  I wanted to create something simple and neat that could be used with my IWB and didn't require gluing into a notebook.  It sounded like a simple task, until I got started!

And this is only two poems from the August/September packet!  Each poem includes a weekly lesson, four options for printing (color, bw, color with homework, and bw with homework), pocket chart cards with pictures, and extension activities.  There is so much to keep you, the kiddos, and the poem going strong all week long!

I set up my "I Can Read" poetry binder as a homework binder.  When I first introduce the poem, I like to read it several times throughout the day.  The students help me make up hand motions for each line to help them better remember the words.  After reading the poem two/three times, we will complete that day’s activity (see the weekly lesson plan for each poem).  Some of the activities will address concepts of prints, phonemic awareness, and word wall words, as well as other literacy skills.  You can use highlighter tape, vis-à-vis markers, pointers, word-swatters, etc. to complete the activities.  These are the same activities that the students will complete at home for homework.  I have the students place a copy of the poem inside their “I Can Read” binder.  They take this binder home each night, except for Fridays.  Each morning, I check their binders by writing OK or stamping next to their parents’ initials.

I like to use a 1” poly binder for my “I Can Read” binders.  The poly binders seem to hold up much better to everyday wear and tear, and normally last throughout the year.  We usually order them from School Specialty, as their poly is a little bit thicker and more durable. Our PTO purchases these binders for every kindergartener.  We are so lucky!  However, in the past, I would transfer all the poems into a three-prong folder at the end of the year so that I could reuse the binders the next year!  I’ve also used 1” poly binders from Target or Walmart, and have even asked for these on my supply list.  On the front of the binder, I attach a label with the student’s name.  I like to place packing tape overtop of the label so that it doesn’t peel off.

Inside the binder, I place the “I Can Read” cover, as shown above.  I laminate these for durability, or place them inside a sleeve protector.  Next, comes the parent note explaining how to use the “I Can Read” binder.

After the parent note, I insert the first poem including the homework option.  I copy them on the copy machine, but I took a picture of the colored version.  During the first few weeks of school, either myself or a volunteer will add the poems to the binders on Monday.  Once we’ve settled into a routine, I teach the students how to flip all of the pages, so they can add the new poem to the back.

At the very back of the binder, each student has a zippered pouch containing an 8 pack of crayons, a couple pencils and an eraser.  I’ve found that having these supplies inside the binder ensures that every student has the appropriate colors to complete the homework.  I teach the students that these supplies must remain inside the zippered pouch!

These poems can be used as a shared reading, as well as placed in the students’ “I Can Read” or poetry binders!  You can write the lyrics on chart paper, display the poem using your document camera or IWB, or use the included word cards inside a pocket chart.  The word cards can also be used in your poetry center!  Plus, I've included a weekly lesson plan for every poem!

If you would like to start an "I Can Read" poetry homework binder in your class, check out my "I Can Read" poetry binder pack for August/September.  It includes six poems - Here I Come, ABCDEFG, The Wheels on the Bus, Family of Shapes, Picking Apples, and Fall, Fall, Falling Leaves!  All perfect for back-to-school!

Click on the picture to see a preview of this pack!
I went ahead and bundled this pack, so you could take advantage of the BTS sale on TpT!  It's discounted $15, while I continue adding the rest of the months!  Plus, with the sale, the savings are HUGE!

Click on the picture to head over to see a preview of this pack!

My kiddos seriously love their "I Can Read" poetry binders!  They are always so excited to see the new poem on Monday!  It's so fun to hear them read and sing the poems throughout the week and all year long!  Plus, I love that it reinforces the skills we have learned in the classroom!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Alexa! My kiddos really do love their "I Can Read" binders! It's such an easy way to do homework in Kindergarten! :)

  2. Love these!!!! So well put together!!!


    1. Thank you so much for the sweet comment! I worked my tail off, so it's nice to hear how much you like it! :)

  3. When do you start the Poetry binders?