Pocket chart center is a place where students are able to practice reading familiar text (through the forms of songs and poems) to gain confidence and practice fluency. This center is really easy to plan for and the students always have a great time practicing the songs and poems they love!
Since most curriculum choices nowadays don’t have much time built in for nursery rhymes, fingerplays and “traditional kindergarten songs,” this center is a place where you can still expose your students to this fun practice. After all, if we want our students to be able to produce rhymes, they will have to be able to hear and say them through repetition first!
What I use:
One large and sometimes also one small pocket chart
Printed pictures and/or reference charts
Printed versions of the songs/poems
Sometimes, some simple additional resources are used also
What I do to set up the center:
- I write or print out the words to a familiar song, poem or fingerplay that we have been working on in whole group. (Typically, these are seasonal or holiday related.)
- I write the high frequency words on sentence strips and cut them apart.
- I find a book or print out of the song, poem or fingerplay.
- I print a version of the entire song, poem or fingerplay.
- I find two fun pointers.
***Lots of times, I like to look for fun pocket chart ideas online. I found this one on Teachers Pay Teachers by Pocketful of Centers and I love it!
* I do not start this whole process until at least a month in.
I have students match words and read the predictable poems/songs and complete a response sheet and/or activity.
*Before this time, I just get students used to working at the pocket chart. I do this by first having them match capitals to lower-case letters. The next time, I have them match pictures to the letters they hear as the beginning sounds.
*As the year goes on, I take time to think about what my students may need help with and I adapt the center to meet those needs. For example, if my students are having trouble with silent e, I might do Three Blind Mice as the song for this center. If my students are having trouble remembering the word have, I would find a poem with the word have in it a few times. This center is really easy to mold to the needs of your students and it can match any theme you want!
- Look the poem/song over. Read it to yourself.
- Read the high frequency word cards with your partner. Work together to match them to the words on the pocket chart.
- Use pointers to read the poem/song to your partner, tracking print along the way.
(Partners are expected to help and correct their partners during reading.)
- Use the book or printed version of the song/poem to fill out your own paper version (usually fill-in-the-blank); turn it in.
(If this pocket chart is really time-intensive and there isn’t enough time to fill out their own version, I always have them “sign in” at the center to show they were there and to say that they completed their work.)
- Read the printed version of the song/poem to yourself, with your partner or to your partner until you know it by heart.