Shared Reading Routines, But With Science of Reading Aligned Decodable Poems

Before the days of the Science of Reading, I loved me some Shared
Reading.  And after learning more about how our brains learn to read, I
had to be honest with myself… the poems I was using for shared reading were
themed and repetitive text.  And while they were cute songs and had some
oral language benefits, they were not good for learning to decode words. 
But I didn’t want to let go of our shared reading time.
Here’s a look at how I combine an old routine, shared reading, with updated
SoR aligned decodable poems
for a silly and rigorous part of our literacy block.

Highlight the Focus Sound

On Monday or Tuesday, I introduce the
new poem.  Most of the time it’s Tuesday, because, let’s be honest, Mondays are
crazy.  In my
Super Phonics curriculum, I don’t even have it built in until Tuesday, because… IYKYK, right?? 🙂

Anyways, let’s use this
poem, The Family of Bears. It goes to the tune of,
The Itsy Bitsy Spider.

On our first poem day, I read through the
while the students follow along and then we look for our focus sound.  I
pull up the digital poem on our white board and call students up to highlight
the sound on our board.

When a kid highlights a word, we all read it together. We make up a motion to
go with our sound to add some movement too.  For /air/ it usually ends of
being some kind of finger-wiggling movement to mimic air moving. 🙂  You
can also just have them jump or clap on the sound.  So as we read the
word, we do the motion.
After all sounds are highlighted, we stand up to get our blood flowing and
read the poem together.  We do our sound motion each time we get to the
And that’s it for the first read!  If that seems short, it’s because it
is.  I try to keep it to 5 minutes or less.  Just a quick
reinforcement of our phonics skill for the week.

High Frequency Word Hunt

During the 2nd read, usually on Wednesdays, we look for high frequency words,
or heart words. 

Similar to the first read, I introduce the sight word and then call on
students to come circle the word.  The sight word for this phonics unit
are different, family, letter, watch, really.  But only two words
are used in this poem.  I still go through each word and have them look
for it and tell me it’s not there.
After we circle the sight words on
the digital poem
on our white board, we stand up and choral read the poem.  We do our
focus sound motion when we read the focus sound and we do another motion
like clap or make a heart with our fingers for our heart words.

Comprehension Work

On the 3rd read, usually Thursdays, we stand and reread our poem together,
doing our focus sound and high frequency word motions as we read.  Then
the kids sit and we focus on some comprehension.  

This looks different for every poem.  When I’m planning out our
comprehension focuses, I might focus on…
1) Tier 2 vocab words: we call them SPARKLE words because they make the writing sparkle with
2) Who? What? Where? questions: Who is the poem about? What are the characters doing?  Where does the
poem take place?
3) Higher order comprehension: This is more poem to poem specific. But it’s pushing kids to creative or
critical thinking where they might need to imagine something that’s not
explicitly in the poem.   These would include Why? and
How? questions or inferring or telling the
author’s purpose for writing the poem.  Not all of the decodable poems will include
all of these.
In this poem, we talk about the word, “pair” and what that means.  We
also discuss the phrase, “fair and square.”  I add sparkles around theses
words to show that they are tier 2 vocab words.  
Then, we go over the Who? What? and Where? questions by turning and answering
each question with our carpet partners.  Then, I call on students to
answer the questions for the group.  
Finally, I choose one higher-order question to ask.  With
this poem, I ask, “Why did the family of bears stop sharing?  Do you agree or
disagree with this decision?

Fluency Practice

Fluency day!  My kiddos LOVE this day!  This is usually on
Friday.  We reread of
with our motions for review.  Then, we play read in 4 voices….using
this anchor chart to help us.

We all read together in each voice.  The fourth voice, the star voice, is
for kids to make up a voice they’d like to read the poem in.  My all time
favorite voice they’ve come up with is a chipmunk voice (with your nose
pinched!)  #cracksmeupeverytime

We also talk about any punctuation marks that may affect our expression or
pacing in the poem as well on this day.

Then, I pass out the decodable  poems
and the kids highlight the focus sounds, circle their sight words, and then
reread their poem 3 times to practice their fluency.  
Once they’ve read it 3 times, they put it in their poetry folder and color the
I love that there’s SO much we can do for just 5 minutes a day with these
poems.  You can find all 36 decodable poems for first grade

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One Comment

  1. I just bought the whole pack and am so excited to use them with my first graders! This blog post was very helpful to getting started 🙂