As most of you know, each child in the classroom has a poetry anthology in his/her desk. Before school started this Fall, I selected one poem per week - sometimes these poems reflect seasonal changes, sometimes they reflect special events or holidays, and sometimes they extend what we are learning about in school. These poems were typed up and put in a notebook - and I made sure that there was room on each page for an illustration.
Each Wednesday afternoon, the children get out their anthologies and we read the weekly poem together. Then children volunteer to read the poem aloud, selecting their preference, "all together", "all by myself", or "both!" (Most children select "both", but it is nice for beginner readers to have the perfectly acceptable option of selecting "all together".) This is always a choice, no one is forced to read aloud if they are not ready. But by following along in their own anthologies, I'm convinced that everyone really benefits. Also, children who want an additional challenge can memorize the poem! This has been great fun for some of the students who like to flex their memorization muscles.
Sometime in the past it became our custom to stand our our chairs when reading a poem "all by myself". I can't remember how it started, but it stuck. Here are some pictures of a few of our poem reciters today, plus the poem itself - a lovely one about migration, our brand new theme.