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Friday, February 25, 2022

Making Personal Books For Struggling Readers


  I am currently tutoring a First Grader who is reading at a Level B.

  I started making books about her life, and it has really made a difference in her attitude and interest. 

Here is one of the latest: Skyler's Hats

I should tell you that Skyler is her big brother who she idolizes.
Miss Deborah is me! (Who she thinks is her secret weapon!)

I am working on the words: I, he, his, like.

I just thought you might find this idea interesting.
 I tell the mother which pictures I need, and she takes the pictures
 and emails them to me.


Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Words Their Way: Within Words Sort 8

 I've been working with my 2 granddaughters on improving their spelling. I chose the Words Their Way Program because I wanted it to fit the needs of two different age groups with similar deficiencies in spelling skills.  

As an Instructional Coach for a large school district, I have been trained by Pearson Learning Group and have trained teachers how to use the program.  So I thought I would share some of the materials that I develop to go along with the sorts the girls and I will be doing together.  

We are on Sort 8 in the yellow book, Third Edition.  (Within Words)

This lesson focuses on "short and long i" vowel sounds.  I noticed that many of the long i words have the ending ice. So I began gathering a collection of words that ended "ice." 

These are the words that I decided to use to expand their knowledge of "ice" words.

This is the sheet that I used on Zoom. 

I shared this page on Zoom, and the girls took turns writing the first sounds on the line to make the new words that I was giving to them orally.

Believe it or not, they really liked learning the word- sacrifice, as they didn't believe they could actually spell it. They liked the challenge. 
Together we looked up the meaning of the word using the Longman Dictionary.
When I search for definitions, I add "Student Friendly" to the search.


From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary EnglishRelated topics: Religionsac‧ri‧fice1 /ˈsækrəfaɪs/ ●●○ noun    1 [countable, uncountable] when you decide not to have something valuable, in order to get something that is more important

If you would like a copy of my worksheets, Click on the Pages Above.  They are free to you.Please leave a comment if you decide to download the pages as your thank you.
Deborah Devine

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Interjections and Emoji for 5th Graders

Today when I met with the two 5th Grade students that I am tutoring, we continued on our journey to understand the function of interjections in writing and in our speech.

After doing a bit of research on the Internet, I realized that emoji are "emoticons." Check out this chart that attempts to describe the feelings shown with the emoji.
The definition of emoticons is:
A pictorial representation of a facial expression to express a person's feelings or mood, or as a time-saving method.

So hopefully you can see the connection between interjections in speech and writing ... and emoticons.

So I decided to make a series of cards showing different emoji characters and have my student connect it to an interjection.
😓 = Oh no!
Then we used that interjection in dialogue.
"Oh no! My mother is going to be so angry when she see this broken dish."
Lastly, we wrote a sentence that might be in a narrative writing.
Oh no! The teacher saw me pass that note to Ali. 

I was trying to make connections between ways we use interjections.  
Yippee! I believe they understood. 😊 



Tuesday, April 24, 2018

What is an Interjection....5th Graders Want to Know.

What is an interjection ?....5th Graders know. 

 Or they should know, according to the Common Core Standards.  Those amazing 5th Graders are expected to know the function of interjections, in general, and their functions in particular sentences...YIKES!!!!!

First, let's deal with the word interjection.

interject = emoji
5th Graders get emoji's

Even their clothing features emoji's.
So use it!!!! Yeah!!!!
An interjection is not commonly used in formal or academic writing, because they don't convey facts... they convey feelings.

"Wow! This is the perfect time to teach dialogue writing." pleaded Mrs. Devine.

"Gosh, ,you mean it?" said those 5th Grade Teachers.

 "Use those interjections, and teach them to punctuate it correctly, and you can 
live happily ever after, " said Mrs. Devine.

P.S.  I told the children, that I tutor,
 that ! and ? is stronger
 than ,
 and that is why you see them in dialogue writing instead of a ,

Saturday, February 10, 2018

How Far Did Your Car Roll? Pre-K and K

If you give 3 and 4 year old children some cars, an empty cardboard tube, and blocks, what do you think will happen?

They will naturally set up the cardboard tube and blocks to make an incline.  They will want to see the car roll through the tube and how far the car will travel. Next, they will want to compete against other students. 
“My car will go farther than your car!”

Through teacher intervention, instead of hearing students comment, “My car went farther than yours,” you can hear, “My car went farther. It went to the 10 and yours went to the 8.”
 What materials must you add? 
 A number line including a visual ten frame.

Next, let students explore for several days. Then ask them to record what they found out with this recording sheet and a marker.
Students color in the number line to show how far their car traveled. 

Then extend the experience by adding  a small and large car to the center. In whole group discuss that fact that there are going to be 2 size cars now to experiment with. 
“Does the size of the car matter?”
Again, let student explore this idea.
Lastly, discuss in whole group,does the size of the car also effects the WEIGHT of the two cars. I used a food scale and weighed the cars in front of the group to see if one car weighs more than the other. 
Discuss: Why does the weight matter?


I loved doing this experiment with a group of native spanish speakers in a Pre-K class. 
 If you would like to do it with your students, it will be  available in my Teacher Pay Teacher store soon.  All the response sheets and ten frames are done for you in both English and Spanish for only $2.00.


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

A Fun Way to Learn Letter Patterns in Your Name

While working in a Developmental Preschool Classroom, I noticed the center in which students work on letter formation.  That doesn't sound like much fun, but the teacher was working hard to make it as enjoyable as possible.  

Just imagine a young boy trying to learn how to spell his name...
 C H R I S T O P H E R.

Since the next thematic unit is transportation, I decided to make him a special surprise. 
His very own parking lot with lettered cars.  
As he drives the cars into the parking spaces, he will be repeating this letter pattern in a fun way.
 Here is the parking lot, complete with individual parking spots for each car. 

I hope it makes 
F U N !

By the way, I don't want you to think this activity is only for boys.
I made a parking garage for 


Monday, January 29, 2018

"Think Out Loud Cap" to Promote Verbal Language Development in Children.

These materials were used in a Developmental Preschool that encouraged students to verbalize their thoughts to promote language growth. 

 That is the reason for the “Think Out Loud Cap.”  When I modeled thinking out loud and sharing my thoughts, I would put on the “Think Out Loud Cap.”  My plan was to concretely show student how to share their thoughts and ideas.
 I wanted more details!
Now, I couldn't have every student wear a hat like this, or share my hat with the speaker because of head lice concerns.  So I made a laminated  “Think Out Loud Cap” Card. 
 The students were encouraged to think out loud when I  handed  them the laminated “I am thinking” card. 

By the way, the blank cap was purchased at Hobby Lobby for about $2.50.  It actually had head breathing holes sewn in the fabric and that is how I stuck the pipe cleaners out through the hat.

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