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Collin’s Story : Practical Writing Practice

Collin and I are continuing to read and write together one or two times a week. I hope that as I share our stories with you, you are able to take bits of learning for yourself to use with your own students.

To help Collin increase his reading and writing sight vocabulary, I have set up a tray of the words we are working on.

Collin's Story - Pioneer Valley Books
tray of words

Often after we have finished reading a book or writing a story, I will have Collin locate these words and I will have him ‘make’ the words with magnetic letters.

I also will use the Water Wizard and the Sand Tray with Collin to practice writing the word(s). Writing a word in a variety of modalities and making it with magnetic letters and other tools will help him remember the word and will help to create “islands of certainty” for him when he is reading.


water wizard


Water Wizard

sand tray


Sand Tray

I have also ‘discovered’ a new, exciting tool to use for Collin to write on – the iPad!


water wizard

I have found two great apps and there are probably plenty more that I will be using with Collin. Here are the ones I’ve found so far: Doodle Buddy and Educreations.

In our most recent lesson, I used these tools with Collin after he read Come Here, Puppy (Level C/3) for a first reading. Click here to see a video of that lesson with Collin.

Michèle Dufresne is author of many Pioneer Valley Books  early readers (including the Bella and Rosie series), Word Solvers (Heinemann), and an early literacy and literacy intervention consultant.

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