April is National Poetry Month! Did you know that? It is, and its not too late to jump in on the celebration! We have been doing little things over here when we can, where we can. The great thing about poetry is that there is so much to choose from that you can certainly find a poem or two to fit in any amount of time you have. The majority of our poetry reading has been done at night, right before bed. And its been a whole lot of oldie-but-goodie nursery rhyme reading. Nursery rhymes totally count as poems, you know. And even the bigger kids love em. Heres the skinny. . . Nursery Rhymes: Powerful Poems for Fluency and More: Its really simple. We dont read the whole book of poems every single nightwe pick one per page. Weve been leaning on one of our favorite books, Mary Had a Little Jam, by Bruce Lansky. And each night, after showers and baths and teeth are brushed and were all finally settling down for the night, we take turns picking one poem per page. One nursery rhyme. Nursery rhymes are tiny little poems, often reserved for the little onesright out of the nursery!but not in our house. Nursery rhymes are fab with rhythm, great with rhyme, and these little ditties are funny. So my kids love em. In my opinion, they deserve a little more air-time. We mix it up, but the basics are the same: one poem is read on each page, until were through the book. Some days we: have the person who picked the poem read it; pick one poem and the next person reads it; echo read we all read the poem together; start reading the first two lines, close the book and finish the rest by heart; say the title of the poem chosen, close the book and try to recite it by heart. And sometimes, we do half the book one way and finish it in another way. Not a big deal. The important part is that were reading. Together. And Maddy, Owen, and Cora are listening to fluent reading (which helps create fluent readers). Theyre working their brains (memorization helps with that!), and theyre feeling successful because they feel great about committing even short poems to memory. Jerry Johns and Roberta Berglund published a fabulous article on fluency, A Quick Orientation to Fluency. They state, Modeling, demonstrating, and thinking out loud are some of the explicit actions you can take to help students become fluent readers. You can model fluent reading and take time to discuss what makes reading fluent. Teaching phrasing and providing guided practice will also help remove some of the mystery of fluency. Johns, J.L., & Berglund, R.L. (2010). Enter Here: A Quick Orientation to Fluency. In Fluency (pp. 1-26). Dubuque; Newark, DE: Kendall Hunt; International Reading Association. Even though we werent explicitly discussing how to make our poem-reading fluent, the constant modeling does the job. Its key. Weve read and re-read these poems so much that the kids know what sounds right. Poems, just by the way theyre written, lend themselves to easy phrasing. Love, love, love it. Happy poetry reading! fyi: Affiliate links are used in this post. Pin ItThe post nursery rhymes: powerful poems for fluency and more appeared first on teach mama.