Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Can You Use That In A Sentence?

Part of my day is spent tutoring small groups of children.   At the beginning of the year, I am helping them learn the letters of our alphabet and sounds.  But by now, I am helping them learn their sight words....or high frequency words. Most of the kindergartners have learned all or at least half of their high frequency words (words like: can, here, have, do, to, me, my, come...35 in all for kindergarten).

After reviewing the words, using flash cards, with 2 kids today....we played a game.  They pulled a card....tried to read the word, then use it in a sentence.

Use it in a sentence.

You have no idea what a hard concept that is for a 5 year old.

Can you use that word in a sentence?


It's one thing for them to learn to read the word on a flash card....but then they have to apply that knowledge when they see it in a book or are writing it in their journals. Using it in a sentence is not always an easy thing for them to do.

So we begin the game...and I give them an example.  Let's say the word is "can" ...  "I can run fast."  Or "like".... I like chicken nuggets.  We practice a few words.  They get it.  I think.

So here we go........

Kid #1: (pulls a card and reads the word)  do

Me:  Good job.  Now can you use that word in a sentence? 

Kid #1:  Did you got a lot of candy?

That is not a mispelled word up there.  They said "got."

Kid #2: (pulls a card and reads the word)  can

Me:  Wow!  That's right.  Now can you use that word in a sentence?

Kid #2:  I come learn my letters.

He said "come" not "can" because I asked him to repeat it. 

Yep.  That's what I'm working with.   Got you a job like me come to?

I have to tell you that while we were playing the game and after they had said this funny stuff, I leaned over and made a quick note of what they had said...because I can't remember much a minute later.

Kid #1 asked, "Are you writing a happy note to my mom?"

So of course, I said yes and then I did.


  1. Love it. To this day, I still remember learning words in kindergarten and first grade.

    K: "Girl" was the hardest word EVER. First, becasue I couldn't, and still can't, say R's very easily. Second, because the "i" just didn't belong in there, in my mind. I thought it should have a "u", like in the word "uv" (of).

    1st: I learned, from Taylor DeBartola himself, that "Blake" and "black" are not spelled the same. That little "e" on the end really messed me up.

    And now I'm in 17th grade, and I can do all kinds of math and physics problem, but I still can't spell :)