Friday, June 26, 2015

Summer Stock Up {Freebies}

Hi, friends!  If you're anything like me, you are already busy thinking about next...what you will change, how you will rearrange your room, what your schedule will look like, what you'll be assigning for homework, what your guided reading groups will look like, and, and, and, and... you know what I mean.  You're probably busy pinteresting all sorts of new ideas!  Well, The Primary Gal and a whole slue of other bloggers have teamed up to bring you the Summer Stock Up, full of tons of giveaways and freebies!

Let me start by saying how much I LOVE using poetry in my classroom!  Poetry is a great way to improve reading fluency and oral language, as well as practice numerous phonemic awareness skills and concepts of print.  My team and I have been using a poetry binder for many years, but I finally just decided this year that I would begin compiling all of the poems we use during our shared reading time.  I wanted to create something simple and neat that could be used with my IWB or pocket chart and didn't require gluing into a notebook.  It sounded like a simple task, until I got started!  Here's a picture of what's inside our poetry binders:

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 below.  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.

If you do not send home homework or would rather use the poems inside a poetry binder or notebook, no problem!  I have included a copy of the poem in both color and black and white, as well as with and without homework options!  These poems can also 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!

There is so much to keep you, the kiddos, and the poem going strong all week long! 

Here's a little peek at a few of my favorite extension activities:
October Poetry Binder
March Poetry Binder
April Poetry Binder

May Poetry Binder
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! 

Take a closer look at all of the monthly poetry packs by clicking on each image (June/July coming soon)!

I went ahead and bundled all of my I Can Read Poetry Binder packs into a "growing bundle."  It's discounted, while I add the final month!  Grab all my I Can Read Poetry Binder packs, as well as the I Can Read Poetry Binder Bundle, 20% off this weekend only!
Click on the picture to head over to see a preview of this pack!
Do you want to incorporate poetry binders into your daily schedules?!?  You can head over to my FB page and click on the "Summer Stock Up #1" tab to grab the below freebie!  Here's a little peek at how we practiced reinforcing the word "the" using the poem "The Itsy Bitsy Spider."

As we read the poem each day, we talked about how the spider never gave up, how he tried and tried again, and how he tried his best.  Then, we shared a time that we never gave up.

monkey bars
riding my bike

counting to 100
Grab each of these activities and more for "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" by clicking the picture below!  Don't forget to click on the "Summer Stock Up #1" tab once you get to my FB page.

Now, let's switch gears and talk about guided reading.  I cannot tell you how much my kiddos love these CVC Sliders!  I have found that using color coded CVC word cards help students identify the beginning, middle, and ending sounds; therefore, making it easier for students to segment each word.  Being able to easily segment words is crucial for successful decoding, which is a major cornerstone in guided reading!

CVC Sliders are my most favorite hands-on segmenting activity!  The beads and word cards are color coded for directionality.  This helps the students read from left to right.  Think of this as a stoplight with colors that means go and stretch it out, yellow means say the sounds slowly, and red means stop at the end of the word.

Green is for the beginning sound, yellow is for the middle, and red is for the ending sound (since red means stop).  First, we touch each colored dot as we say each sound.  Then, we slide our finger across the arrow and blend the sounds together to form the word.

We also use our color coded CVC slider as we segment the word.  The students will slide one bead for each phoneme in the word.  After sliding all three beads and saying all three phonemes, they will push the beads back and say the word.  In the beginning of the year, I like to use the cards with pictures to provide extra support.

As the students become better at segmenting and blending, we will use just the color coded word cards.  This is a bit more difficult, as the students are not able to rely on the picture support when blending the sounds back together.

To differentiate even further, we often use the CVC Slider picture cards.  These cards require oral segmentation of the word, which is a much more difficult skill.

Want to give CVC Sliders a try in your classroom?!?  Grab the FREEBIE sample below by heading to my FB page and clicking on the "Summer Stock Up #2" tab!

Or you can head to my TpT store for the full pack containing 110 picture cards, 110 word cards with picture support and 150 word cards without picture support.  I've discounted this set for the weekend!

Don't forget to head back to The Primary Gal to check out the rest of the Summer Stock Up categories and grab some more freebies!

I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer vacation!


  1. Love both of these ideas! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Where do you get your poems or do you create them yourself.