Every now and then students surprise us. It may be in Math, where the light comes on and they can add and subtract numbers in their heads. Or it may be in Writing, where students start to understand how to use capital letters and punctuation. Well, today we were surprised when one of our students told us that she knows the poem "The Swing" by Robert Louis Stevenson without looking at the paper...so in fact, she had memorized it. We have been reading it everyday as a reading fluency activity as we have several other poems and songs. The poems and songs are put into their Poem Books and they can read them during Reader's Workshop along with their other books. We were pleasantly surprised when "L" recited the poem to the class and then again for this blog. Since then, three more children have memorized and recited the poem. According to Bestonlinecolleges.com, memorization can train your brain to remember, is essential to learning new concepts, and teaches rhythmic patterns (as with nursery rhymes). Yes, we were surprised but we are more happy for our students to gain all of these extra benefits from poetry.