Word Detectives Part II

March 17, 2011

Word Detectives Part II

March 17, 2011

Hi everyone!! Here is Part II of my Word Detectives resource. You can read about Part I here.

I finally had the chance to assemble the books and implement this system today.

To display the word categories, I printed off the sign and taped it above a binder (which is velcroed to the board). This is how I display my Word of the Day charts as well.

The binder creates a nice black border that makes the page pop on the board. Plus, I like that the kids can take it down and reference past pages. This will be especially important as we collect words in different categories.

I put the page with the footprints and “Examples” on the top, while the lower page is blank to provide extra space for words. I want the students to have this space so they can add to the list in the future, when they encounter new words in a given category.

On a side note, the pages are really easy to hold in place on the binder…I use two of those binder clips. The metal part can hold many sheets of paper! So, each day, we can just flip a new page up and clip it.

In case you are interested, here is how/why I am using this system…

I just finished my running records for March and I saw many common needs among my ELL students.

One of the most evident areas of need was contractions. It was clear many of the students didn’t understand the meaning of certain contractions within a story…there were also many mispronunciations due to the unfamiliarity of this language.

So our introductory lesson to Word Detectives focused on contractions. We used the binder display above to write out contractions we already knew (I’m, I’ll, We’re). We discussed meanings of different contractions, used them in sentences verbally, and recorded them on the chart (they will=they’ll). I only recorded about 8 examples, since my students are 4th and 5th graders, and I wanted to keep it challenging.

The students then began an independent search in their reading books from our class library. They added to their individual Word Detective books, collecting any contractions they saw (for about two minutes). Everyone was able to find a number of contractions. If the students were unsure of the meaning (she’d was tricky for instance), they just copied the apostrophe form first. Then, when we shared out, we discussed what the more unfamiliar contractions meant and added them to our whole group list.

The Word Detective books were used again later in the day, during Reader’s Workshop (while the students did Read to Self). It worked out really well and my students loved it! I love how we can categorize all kinds of words and continually expand the lists (and vocabulary!). My upcoming lessons will include possessives, plurals (they tend to leave the -s off words in their reading), then move on to different word patterns/endings (such as -tion).

One more picture: To create the student books, I printed the covers on cardstock and folded them in half.

I then folded 10 of the book pages and stapled them inside the book (I have this stapler and I love it for this reason!!!).
Another side note! I love my class…they were so excited to get new books and impressed that I made them (my students are so cute!!) and this is a mostly 5th grade class!

It was a nice day.

I am attaching the entire file. The four pages include: student book covers, student book pages, a large sign for display, and pages for display. I hope you will be able to use some or all of them with your class.
Take care!

Word Detectives printables


  • ScrapinShana March 17, 2011 at 1:35 am

    This is fabulous! Thank you for sharing it with us! =)

  • Mrs. McHaffie March 21, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    This is amazing and, of course, adorable! I LOVE your blog and am learning so MUCH from you!!! Thank you for sharing all your knowledge and cute little 'tricks of the trade'! 🙂

    Beg, borrow, steal

  • DualKinderTeacher March 29, 2011 at 4:46 am

    You are so awesome to share so many great files! Thanks a bunch!

  • sandybeach1267 May 28, 2011 at 11:24 am

    I love your work…Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

  • Stacy May 30, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    I just completed my first year of teaching, and I love your blog!! Can this work for vocabulary??

  • meesabelle June 1, 2011 at 1:42 am

    I'm going to first grade after teaching middle school the past 11 years and this will help me implement the Daily 5. Thank you so much!

  • Kristen June 1, 2011 at 1:52 am

    Wow, what a grade level change! Best of luck to you! 🙂

  • Bernice July 1, 2011 at 2:42 am


  • Kim September 13, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    What font did you use for your word detective books?

  • Anonymous August 29, 2012 at 12:17 am

    Thank you so much for sharing all of your hard work with us! This is perfect for what we are doing with our kids!!

  • Leave a Reply


    • The beginning of ALLLL the due dates!! Our spring break is starting this weekend and I know I’m going to come back to a whirlwind of permission slips, forms, and project papers to keep up with!So I’ll be using these magnets to keep all of our due dates posted (and to save myself from the endless questions of when things are due!). If you’d like to see more about the magnets, please see the link in my profile (http://bit.ly/duedatemagnets)Are your due dates starting to intensify yet?#somuchtodo #classroomorganization #classroommanagement #iteachfourth #iteach4th #iteach456 #teachersfollowteachers #teachersofinstagram
    • My heart could just burst with happiness today. We’ve worked so hard as a community of readers this year to read as much as possible, in all the extra minutes we can find in our day.Today was our fourth grade Water Fair. The students had to present their projects in front of judges and wait patiently for the semifinals and then results...for several hours.It was a long morning for them.But I watched as so many happily pulled out their current reads while they waited, thrilled for all of the bonus reading time. ❤️❤️❤️ #fullheart #communityofreaders #readersgonnaread #iteachfourth #iteach4th #iteach456 #teachersfollowteachers #teachersofinstagram
    • Giveaway Closed...congrats @ccbahr!I just listed a new resource that has really made a difference in our class.I’m sure I’m not alone in this...our list of due dates is HUGE right now!! So I’ve been keeping track of all our forms and assignments with these little magnets. They have been SO helpful for my students...and me, honestly (I can lose track of things so easily these days!). Would you like to win a set for your class? You can earn two entries by doing the following:1. Comment with an emoji that shows your feelings about due dates right now.2. Comment again and tag a friend for a second entry.I’ll announce the winning name later this evening! The link to this resource is in my profile if you’d like to see more about it (http://bit.ly/duedatemagnets)#classroomorganization #classroommanagement #iteachfourth #iteach4th #iteach456 #teachersfollowteachers #teachersofinstagram
    • Magnet love!! 🧲❤️ I’ve been using these due date magnets to help organize our important papers and keep those deadlines posted for my students and (let’s be honest) me as well!Because this is the time of the year when so much is going on, so much is due...it becomes very easy for a teacher to get overwhelmed with projects, permission slips, order forms, and more!So now I post our papers, write the due date with a vis-a-vis marker and there it is...an easy-to-see visual reminder that keeps my class and I on track.I’ll share more from this board soon...we have some other resources that are keeping my fourth grade class a little more organized during this busy season!How do you like to keep track of due dates in your class?#classroomorganization #classroommanagement #iteachfourth #iteach4th #iteach456 #teachersfollowteachers #teachersofinstagram
    • My mind has been a jumble of thoughts this Sunday night, so I'm turning to google slides to help plan things out.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀This week, for example, we need to work on a couple of our routines that have become less...routine. 😬⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀This slide will give us a chance to have a chat and share strategies on keeping a clean workspace. Plus, it has visuals of how our tables should look, which is always a huge help!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Have you tried this with your class before? I think it will be a great reminder for my students this week!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀#classroommanagement #classroomorganization #iteachfourth #iteach456 #iteach4th #teachersfollowteachers #teachersofinstagram
    • I may have experienced a momentary feeling of dread when I saw Monday’s date as I left yesterday. 😂⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀But...I absolutely ADORE these magnetic numbers. I learned about this awesome time-saver from @twoteachersinfifth (Brooke and Leah always have the best ideas!!).⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀And seriously...this is the first time in my seventeen years of teaching I haven’t routinely forgotten to put the date on the board. It’s a student job to keep it updated...but even if my fourth graders occasionally forget, it just takes a moment for me to do.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀I keep the numbers in a little photo storage box by the front whiteboard. The magnetic numbers are by Teacher Created and can be found on Amazon. (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ZVQUS0K/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_i0-NCb0HNXCA8)⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀I love how easy these numbers are to see from anywhere in our room...and of course the time they save!!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀#teachertimesaver #classroommanagement #classroomorganization #iteachfourth #iteach4th #iteach456 #teachersfollowteachers #teachersofinstagram

    Follow @ladybugsteacherfiles