Building the confidence to read poetry out loud before an audience was one of the outcomes of Poetry Hour, a special event for students in the second-grade classes of Mrs. Aldridge and Miss Santospirito, Mr. Gerster and Miss Burns.
Kaegebein second-graders held Poetry Hour for their families where the focus was oral reading fluency. Fluency is one of the critical building blocks of reading because its development is directly related to reading comprehension, which is the goal for young readers. Students read a variety of literature genres in second grade. Poetry was selected as a way to not only practice oral reading fluency, but also to increase vocabulary development, as poetry often contains more sophisticated language.
The presentation in the school’s auditorium was a fun and unique way for students to share their hard work with their families. Students selected a poem and practiced until it could be read fluently. Next, with the help of Mrs. Pritchard, Kaegebein’s Library Media Specialist, each designed a google slide to display the poem he or she would be reciting. The students’ slides were on a large screen as they recited their poems.
After the individual poems, the students had an opportunity to collaborate with each other and with their teachers while reciting two additional poems. Students concluded Poetry Hour with an upbeat song about spring. After the presentation, families were invited back to the classrooms for refreshments. Poetry Hour served as an opportunity to be creative while using technology and build the confidence of students to speak before an audience.