I came across this idea ages ago on Mrs. Lodge's Library Blog, and immediately fell in love with the concept. Common sight words are glued to building blocks, which students can then use to form poetry. I thought it offered a fun twist on the idea of magnetic poetry, and would incorporate the idea of play and learning nicely, and so I purchased a bag of 90 blocks from Amazon for about $10, printed out the Dolch sight words, and set to work with my jar of Modge Podge.
As I worked, my roommate couldn't resist using the blocks to make poems, which encouraged me - if a 27-year old found enjoyment in using this center, surely it would prove a hit with my students.
I experimented first by introducing it to my first grade and PTC class (special needs). The results were less than stellar. While the students had a blast playing with the blocks, the concept of using the blocks to make poetry did not sink in. The library centers are meant to incorporate play and learning together, which was clearly not happening, so I regretfully made the decision to make this an older student center only. I tried again with fifth grade, and this time, the center proved to be a huge success. The students definitely need more words (which means I'll be buying another set of blocks and adding in some more advanced vocabulary), but they had a great time making poems. The only thing I will note is that some of the words have already started to come off, with minimal use. I don't know if the solution is to use more modge podge or figure out a stronger adhesive, but I'll have to investigate further.
My name is Ms. Bery. I am a PK-8 library media specialist in the Boston area. In addition to being a certified school librarian, I am also certified in instructional technology, and have a strong interest in exploring and integrating technology in new and exciting ways in the classroom.
I am also a 2016 PBS LearningMedia Local Digital Innovator, and a 2015 recipient of the Massachusetts School Library Association's President's Award.
Check out the Sandbox for apps and websites I've found useful in supporting student learning and creativity. I also (very occasionally) review children's and young adult literature on my book reviews page.
Other Library Blogs
The Centered School Librarian
Mrs. Lodge's Library
Trust Me, I'm a Librarian
The Librarian in the Middle
Thinking Outside the Library Box
Ask a Tech Teacher