S has “Wall Words” that he has to learn. He’s in the Giraffe word group in his class. The other two groups are the Elephants and the Pandas. He’s starting to figure out how reading and spelling work, but it’s been harder for him than most other things that he tries to do; and he hates to be less than perfect. Math and numbers are easy (“easy-peasy, lemon-queasy”, as he likes to say), and science and learning factoids is a breeze, but letters and words have been a challenge.

Part of his required homework is to log onto a website called which has a version of the game hangman that he loves – there’s an animated mouse that runs back and forth grabbing little pieces of cheese off a block just under the nose of a sleeping cat. Guessing the wrong letter wakes up the cat bit by bit, and you have 7 wrong guesses before the mouse is eaten!

He figured out that he has a LOT of four-letter words, and he was having trouble figuring out a word. Then he had an idea!
“I’ll get my Wall Words and spread them out so I can remember what the words might be!”
“Good idea!”
He spread the out on the floor. Then I had an idea.
“Why don’t you put them in A-B-C order, so you can see them easily.
And this is the result:



He got really excited about this exercise! It was a puzzle, and he was getting it. And, it helped him see what 4-letter words he had to choose from. Everybody won!!
And, then, he ended up reading to his little brother, who actually let him.


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