Friday, October 19, 2012

Gail and the Maid by Alejandro

In the picture below, 2nd Grader Alejandro properly sequenced and described the events that happened in the controlled text, Gail and the Maid.

Alejandro’s Written Answer:
What Alejandro meant:
Gail saw a snail.

She put the snail in a gray pail.

The maid got mad and the maid put her hands on her waist.

The maid got mad to Gail and got scerd.
The maid got mad to Gail and she got scared.
Gail fecht a pail of water and threw it on the maid.
Gail fetched a pail of water and threw it on the maid.
The maid waild.
The maid wailed.
The maid wanted to faint.

Gail said sory to the maid.
Gail said sorry to the maid.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Butterfly and I

Chantelle recently read the book, Hope for the Flowers by Trina Paulus. Before reading, she was required to compare herself with a butterfly. She provided events in her life that were synonymous to each stage of the butterfly’s life cycle.

Chantelle would like to become famous someday. To become one, she takes singing and modeling lessons as a part of her training.

Dentists Are Important

Alejandro is an eight-year old kid. His program focuses on oral and written language, spelling, reading and comprehension.

He was asked to enumerate his answers as a part of his oral and written language development. This query was integrated as an introduction to the book, Andrew’s Loose Tooth that was about to be read to him.

Question: Give three reasons why dentists are important to us.

His Answer: Dentists are important for us because first, they tacer of awar teht. Second, they ceep are teht clen. Last, they ceep are teeth heltey.

What he meant: Dentists are important for us because first, they take care of our teeth. Second, they keep are teeth clean. Last, they keep are teeth healthy.

Parasailing is one of Alejandro’s interests and he is very knowledgeable about the different kind of boats.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Man and The Dog

JJ was enrolled in Wordlab to develop his literacy skills.  After reading in context, he was given activities to check if he understood the text read. In the sample below, JJ was able to show his understanding through his drawings.

Aside from making illustrations, JJ is also interested in Dinosaurs. His favorites include the Stegosaurus and the Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Aaron and the Fireman

In this activity, Aaron was given 3 pictures to sequence. His creativity shined through as he tried to spice up the story by rearranging the events differently.

First, the fireman has a hose and water. Second, the fireman blown up the cake because he cant blow the cake it is hes birthday. Last, the fireman has no water to water his plants.    *unedited

 Aaron goes to Wordlab every Saturday. At home, he likes to play computer games, such as Bookworm Adventure.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Kim, Xilef, and the Shy Rooster

Kim is a six-year old Filipino speaker under the Marungko program. He was tasked to retell stories using a simple Filipino story grammar template. After which, he was given a chance to retell the story in Filipino (with guidance).

The following are transcripts of his oral enumeration of events in two stories, based on the graphics provided.

Mahiyaing Manok

Si mahiyaing manok gustong tumilaok pero ubo lang ang lumalabas sa kanya kaya nag-praktis siya. Sa huli, nakatilaok na siya.


Si Xilef gusto magbasa pero lumilipad at gumagalaw ang mga salita kaya nag-pa tutor siya. Sa huli, nakabasa na siya.

Kim is currently in the preparatory level in school. He likes to watch cartoons and collect stickers. He also enjoys singing and playing with his older brother.

Justine's Writing

For Justine’s written language activity, the focus is on organization of thoughts and proper usage of signal words. The first activity was sequencing of pictures. He was encouraged to first arrange the pictures according to their most logical order, and then write an original story based on the pictures. The second activity was retelling a story about "embalming" using a simple story grammar template. Although editing has already been introduced and is currently being practiced, a complete adherence to spelling, punctuation, syntax and grammar rules is yet to be noted.

First, he’s fixing the window. Second he’s done fixing the window. Last, the ball hit the window because of this he was shock since he just fixed it.

Somebody:            The egipshans
Wanted:                the body not to be roten
But:                        the body can not last long.
So:                         they embalm the body
In the end:             the body can last long. 

What Justine Meant:

Somebody:            The Egyptians
Wanted:                to preserve the dead bodies
But:                        the body cannot last long
So:                         they embalm the body
In the end:            the body can be preserved 

Justine is a very obedient twelve-year-old boy, who likes playing chess and watching movies in his spare time. He is currently a Grade 6 student in a private school in Alabang. 

Jason's Shoe

Jason loves to play with words through rhyming. To display Jason’s talent in rhyming and to develop his written language, he was taught how to make an Acrostic poem. In the following output, Jason's poem was about a shoe.

S o I went to school with you but our
H ouse in our neighborhood smells like poo and the
O ctopus is looking at you because of those
E xpensive shoes and seeing it too

Jason is an eleven -year- old boy, who is passionate about biking as a sport. He loves singing and likes telling jokes. He dreams of becoming an engineer and a professional cyclist someday.  

Enzo and Experiments

Fun activities such as baking, experiments and art are ways to encourage kids to write. In the first experiment, Enzo needed to recall and sequence the steps in making a “Blue Volcano”. In the second experiment, he explained what happened in the experiment by giving the cause and effect in the “Egg in a Bottle” activity. Enzo was to use apt signal words for each activity. Although editing has been introduced and is currently being practiced, a complete adherence to proper capitalization, punctuation, syntax, and grammar usage is yet to be noted.

Blue Volcano

1.      big Jar
2.      food coloring
3.      small glass
4.      string
      and last water hot and cold

First we tie the string to the small glass.
Second we put a cold water in the big Jar.
Third we put a hot water in the small glass.
Fourth we put a coloring food in the small glass.
And Last we put the small glass in the big Jar.

Egg in a Bottle

 What happened?
If you Put the matches in the bottle then the egg will slip down because the hot Air goes up and the cold Air goes down pulling the egg down.

Enzo is a smart second grader in an international school in Manila. He was enrolled in Wordlab School last third trimester with his older brother. Enzo is the second among three boys. He likes doing experiments and sharing his experiments with his brothers.

Creative Writing

In the two works featured below, Enrique was tasked to create original compositions. Coherence of his ideas was given emphasis through apt use of signal words. In the first activity, Enrique was asked to choose three questions from the Query game. After choosing and answering three questions, he was tasked to create a story based on his three answers. his work is in its raw form.

My First Day as a Secret Agent

The story takes place in the future in Manila, Philippines. The characters are a member of my family, a best friend, secret agents, a criminal and I. The type of the story is an adventure.

A problem occurs when secret agents think that they need me to be one of them. They think that I should quit my funny doings, I was asked to be in a comedy show because I make good pranks but I think that those secret agents have been spying on me very well.

A long time ago, I was a lonely person but I discovered that one of my family members have powers to grant your wish. As a result, I wished that I would be able to read the future, read people’s mind and be an NBA player or be famous. After that, my wish was granted. I became a famous NBA player. However, I had to quit because of a certain injury so I had to do pranks and was successful by becoming a famous prankster.

The secret agents think that they need me because I am athletic and have powers. They need athletic people because their strong and fit. The secret agents also need people with powers so they can tell if a criminal is lying. Furthermore, they also call for people that can read the future because they will no what crimes will happen.

In my first day as a secret agent, I had to face tough challenges like not smiling and no jokes or pranks. My first mission was when my agent mates told me that there was a man dying because of a criminal shooting him three times. The criminal shot him because he was the richest singer in the world and was asked by the criminal to give him money but he refused. Unfortunately, that richest singer in the world was my best friend. On my way there, I saw him looking at me and smiling because of this I called the hospital to make sure he is okay. After that, the criminal was almost going to shoot me because he saw me calling for the ambulance. Luckily, my agent mate was able to tackle him from behind and call the police.

 In the end, the criminal was arrested and my best friend was healed. I got richer because of what I did and even being a rookie secret agent. As a result, my agent mates treated me like a veteran. Therefore, we can say “The End”.

In the second activity, Enrique tapped his imagination so he could describe his journey with a giant owl. Like in his previous story, this output is unedited.

An Owl Ride

I will tell you an exciting story about my owl ride. To begin with, that giant owl landed on my doorstep and asked me if I want to ride on him and I agreed. I was very surprised when he asked me. He could talk! The reason why the owl took me for a ride is because he was lost. Therefore, when we were up in the sky he could see where he had to go. I wanted to swim and scuba dive, also to show him the paradise of the Philippines. I also wanted to show him the tallest mountain in the Philippines.

In Boracay, while I was swimming and scuba diving I saw whales! I have always wanted to see whales. The weather in Boracay was sunny so I really enjoyed my stay there. After that, our next destination was Mt. Apo. When we were on our way to Mt. Apo, there were people shouting and gasping with shock when they saw a 6’0’’ owl and a 5’2’’ person up in the sky. Afterwards, when we were in Mt. Apo I saw plenty of trees and fog. There are farms in mountains so I also saw cows. The weather in Mount Apo was foggy. After that, we went to Houston to watch a basketball game. I have always dreamed to watch an NBA game. During the game, I had an idea to show the owl Manny Pacquiao so we went o Dallas to watch a fight. The weather in Houston and Dallas was cold. In Houston and Dallas, I saw athletes such as all the Houston rockets players, Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito. I enjoyed the ride in all the places we went to.

In the end, I got home by riding the owl. The owl was very obedient so he brought me back. He went 300kph/hr! Imagine it took only 4 hours to go to all those places! Finally, that was all for my owl ride.

Enrique is a Grade 6 student.  He likes basketball and dreams of becoming a famous NBA player.  He is currently a member of his school’s basketball varsity team.

The Five Chinese Brothers

For EJ’s written language activity, he was asked to retell the story of The Five Chinese Brothers by Claire Huchet Bishop. EJ followed a simple story grammar template to make a summary of the story. Note that the following written work is in its raw form.

The Five Chinese Brothers
Retold by:

The five Chinese brothers wanted to help their first brother because he was arrested. But the villagers were so angry at their brother so the five Chinese brothers fooled the villagers to save their brother. In the end, the five Chinese brothers were happy.

EJ is a nine-year-old boy who likes watching Animal Planet and Discovery Channel in his spare time. He also likes playing computer games and gaming console with his best friend. This is his seventh program in Wordlab School- Alabang.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

On WORD PLAY and Happiness

As part of the general goal of recognizing, appreciating and effectively utilizing the nuances of language – Raffy was given several activities dealing with subtleties on the word-level. One such activity deals with the transforming “magic” that affixes have on word-meanings. The following are just some examples of Raffy’s word definitions:

v    The Universe is a place that consists of galaxies and stars.
v    Semifinal is a term in games that signals halfway to become the champion.
v    A Superhighway is a long road that can support many vehicles.
v    Prepaid is a term that means that you pay before you get it.

Another task for nuanced language deals with words with multiple meanings. For this part, we would simulate a guessing game that Raffy – THE GAME MASTER – played with several reading clinicians (and even his mom) one afternoon. To prepare for this fun activity, Raffy had to independently choose word(s) that may be used in different contexts, note down the word’s dictionary meanings, and produce original sentences as clues leading to the word in question.

To make it slightly easier for the readers, the number of items has been reduced, and the choices for the correct answers have been provided:

RAFFY’S WORD LIST and their dictionary meanings, as noted.
: a piece of furniture consisting of a flat part resting on legs
: a compact arrangement of information in parallel columns.

: a kind or class
: to write on a typewriter, computer keyboard, etc.

: to use wrongly
: mistreatment


Fill in the blanks of each pair of sentences with ONE word that would satisfy the context of BOTH sentences:

o       The king has been _______ his power ever since.
o       There are a lot of _______ children.

o       We brought a new ______ from the warehouse.
o       This _______ has information about our resources.

o       There are so many different _______ of animals.
o       Too much ______ can cause carpal tunnel syndrome.

In this last work featured, Raffy was given the chance to express how he equates summer to family togetherness.

Since there was an acknowledged difficulty in recalling events and details, he was first asked to enumerate as many occasions and/or activities he could remember, and then to plot them on a timeline to establish time order.

He was then tasked to list supporting details for the events given, all based on self-generated “wh” questions. Raffy’s final pre-writing activity was the production of a bulleted guide for his main idea – together with its supporting details – for each paragraph.

My Favorite Parts of Summer

I went to Davao at the start of summer. I went there by plane for one hour. I went with my mom first, while my dad came later. I left Davao fifteen days before the end of summer. My three favorite parts of summer are when I was playing videogames, and then when I went to Maxima, and when I celebrated my birthday.

I played video games when I did not have plans. I played them in my house with my cousins. Second, I went to Maxima, a popular place that is home to a big water slide. I went there by boat. I went there to have fun with my relatives. Last, I celebrated my 13th birthday in May 12 with my cousins and relatives in Davao.

I like my favorite parts of summer because they make me happy but the most favorite part of my summer is my 13th birthday. In the future, I will spend more time with my relatives.

Raffy is currently a 7th grader in a progressive school in Alabang. As can probably be gleaned from his set of works – Raffy enjoys games, and develops best when allowed to infuse learning with creativity and fun. His interests extend from science to chess to boxing and to (a more recent addition) drum playing. His favorite activity, however, is still spending time with family. 

Poetry from the Self-Professed Non-Poet

When he started his 7th reading intervention program, this young man confessed to having this particular literary genre as his least favorite. He said it was intimidating. He said that he could not possibly ever really like it – much less write in its style.

You would understand, then – what a pleasant (self) discovery this has been for him.

What follows are some of his works for this trimester.

This first one strictly adheres to the structure of the English or Shakespearean Sonnet, down to the rhyme scheme and the 5 iambic feet in each line.

They always make noise inside the classroom,
Wanting to see the teacher lose control
They think it’s a game, I think they presume,
And they always, and always reach their goal.

Playing video games all day long, winning,
One game after another, winning all.
Non-stop gaming, rather than living.
They go with the motto: I win them all.

Looking at another persons paper,
They avoid getting caught, and they succeed.
Also avoiding the sight of the teacher,
They get the answers, the answers they need.

The short-cut to winning they always choose
Though they do not know, in the end they lose.

The following reflects a passion for perfection, in more ways than one. This is very much evidenced by the meticulous care and detailed attention given to construct the central image of this, his very first Concrete Poem. The resulting chaos and confusion displayed by his final output also seem to inadvertently mirror this young man’s own befuddlement, as he – with his youthful idealism and patriotic pride – tries to make sense of this tragedy that he has just witnessed.

Last, but most certainly not the least, is this young man’s series of poems, all following the 5-7-5 syllabic pattern of the Japanese Haiku. Since, in formatting for his final output, this young poet decided to play with his font and color choices – he now claims a new and original form, putting together Haiku and Concrete Poetry. He has decided to call this form the HAIKRETE. J

This fifteen year-old who, from now on, shall be referred to by his nom de plume: CIPHER – not only writes poetry (something he swears he is not good at, even when faced with amazing examples proving otherwise) – he is also now beginning to appreciate this literary genre, as he reads Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” Cipher of course juggles his reading with his other pursuits like his academics, playing the guitar, listening to heavy metal, and playing air soft. 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

An Expedition with Relations

Lucas’s European cruise with his family was used as a springboard for two different tasks aiming to further develop his expressive skills, especially in expounding on a subject by providing supporting details.

To help in concretizing his memories, Lucas was asked to use a timeline as his graphic organizer.

This timeline was then used as a basis for his pre-writing exercise of noting down word/phrase associations for each place visited. For his first work, he was asked to follow the structure of a three-paragraph essay – featuring the introduction, the body and the concluding paragraphs.


      My Summer

                 My summer vacation was long but felt short, because it was fun.
It started well. I lay down and watched TV all day long. I was with my parents and little brother. At the middle of summer, I went to Europe with most of my family.
                  My grandfather planned the trip around Europe. I went to 8 countries but I will talk about only 3. Amsterdam was the first place we went to. It was cold and had a lot of bicycles. We went to a wooden shoe factory in Holland. Another place we went to is Russia. There we went to a winter palace in St. Petersburg. It is connected to an art museum. The last place we went to was Spain. We were with my grandfather’s friend and explored Barcelona, Spain.

                   I had a great time in Europe. I had fun in the trip because of the things we saw. I learned about new sights in the world. Sights like the famous paintings of  Da Vinci and Van Gogh. I want to go there again because Europe was a good place to go to.


The three particular stops that Lucas identified in the previous essay (Amsterdam, Russia and Spain) were further explored. This time, visual prompts – in the form of photos – were used to assist Lucas in coming up with even more information specific to the experience.

The original output of this task is a Powerpoint presentation, which he was able to make with minimal guidance. The main slides were converted into pictures – as seen in the series below:

My Summer (in Powerpoint)

(The text of each slide has been transcribed, for easier reading)


Ø      A big windmill beside a pond.
Ø      The unpainted wooden shoes (above) only last for 3 years.
Ø      The shoe maker explains about making the shoes. He used a block of wood.

Ø      A statue of Rembrandt. My dad likes his paintings a lot.
Ø      Outside an amusement park with some big shoes.


Ø      Walking in front of a summer palace in St. Petersburg. It was big with a lot of rooms surrounded by gold. There was a room covered in amber.
Ø      This is a long ceiling of fresco pictures of bible stories in the old testament. I stared at it for a while because it was very detailed.

Ø      This is the unfinished sculpture of Michelangelo. It is a man exercising.
Ø      This is the painting of the return of the prodigal son by Rembrandt. I think it is a bible story.


Ø      This is a winery. It is somewhere in Barcelona. It was boring. The tour was about making wine out of a fruit.
Ø      This is Paella. It is a kind of Spanish food. There is egg, shrimp, and fried rice mixed in a pan.

Ø      This street performer looks like a headless guy. But I saw some hair when the picture was taken.
Ø      I was with my brother and some guy in a robot costume. It transforms, somehow. My parents thought it was Bumblebee, but the body didn’t look like it because of the wheels.


Now on his 5th reading intervention program with Wordlab, Lucas’s steady growth  – both physically and in his literacy skills – has been unmistakable. He is a very diligent 7th grader; yet he never forgets to make time for creative expression through drawing and painting. In fact, he recently joined his school’s Art Club.

Jon and His LEA

One of the methods used to enhance comprehension skills, as well as develop expressive language, is LEA – or the Language Experience Approach. In the samples below, Jon was asked to independently follow a procedure, beginning with the preparation of materials, until making sure that the work area is left clean after the activity is done.

In this first LEA activity, Jon was asked to do the experiment, purely based on the text provided below. Hardly any guidance was given; monitoring was mainly focused on maintaining safety.


Erupting Volcano Experiment


·        Small bottle
·        Clay
·        Measuring cup
·        Plate
·        Bowl
·        Dropper
·        Spoon
·        Funnel
·        ¼ cup of hot water
·        ¼ cup of vinegar
·        5 drops of red food coloring
·        2 spoonfuls of baking soda

First, get a small bottle and put it on a plate. Second, wrap the clay around the bottle to make your own volcano, making the plate as your base. Be as creative as you want to be! Then, put this plate of volcano in a bowl. After making sure that the plate of volcano is steady, measure ¼ cup of hot water and pour it into the bottle.  Then, using the medicine dropper, mix 5 drops of red food coloring into the hot water in the bottle. Afterwards, put 2 spoonfuls of baking soda into the mixture. Make sure you use a funnel so the baking soda does not spill all over! Now, your volcano is complete. Well, almost. The final ingredient is the most important, so make sure you pour it slowly. Can you guess what the final ingredient is? If you have figured it out, that means you are ready to make this volcano erupt! Have fun!

After the activity, as well as the resulting discussion, was done – an integral part of any LEA activity is an independently written essay outlining the materials, steps, learning points and conclusions or opinions made from the experience. Guidance was initially given Jon regarding the parts of a three-paragraph essay, as well as the essential ideas incorporated within the parts: introduction, body and conclusion.



          When a base and an acid mix, carbon dioxide will be produced. A baking soda volcano erupts carbon dioxide, which is produced by a base and an acid. In making a baking soda volcano erupt, you will need clay, a paper plate, 1/4 cup of vinegar, red dye, 1/4 cup of hot water, two spoonfuls of baking soda, a bottle, a big basin, and just to stay safe, a funnel.

          In making a baking soda volcano, first put the bottle standing on the plate. Then wrap the bottle around with clay so it will look like a volcano but do not cover the hole of the bottle.
After that, put the plate of volcano into the basin. Now that the making of the baking soda volcano is complete, it is time to make the mix that will make the volcano erupt. First pour the hot water into the volcano and also put the red dye into the volcano. Then put the two spoons of baking soda into the volcano using a funnel and a spoon. After that, pour the vinegar into the volcano but be quick and careful or the hot water will fry your hands.

          Carbon dioxide is produced by the mix. The production is too fast, the mix has to get out of the bottle for more space. If you are smelling something now, that may be the carbon dioxide from the volcano mix and it isn’t good for the lungs.


In this second LEA activity, Jon was given the procedure in the form of picture diagrams. He was once again given minimal guidance, but was encouraged to ask questions when in need of clarification.

After making his own kite, Jon was given the chance to test-fly his kite. Some difficulties were encountered, as there was a marked absence of any breeze that day. But, as Jon himself explains in the following written output, he was able to creatively solve this problem.



This essay is about making and flying a kite. In making a kite, you will need plastic bags, string, sticks, scissors, a marker and tape. You will also need a big open space like a park, field, or even a big building top.

          The first thing you have to do in making a kite is cut the plastic bag into a shape of a diamond. Then put the two sticks in a + shape. Make sure the sticks end at the pointy ends of the plastic diamond. After that, put tape to secure the sticks. Then poke two holes beside the place where the two sticks meet. You also have to put two holes in the bottom end of the kite. Next, put a string and tie it through the holes. Tie long string to the string tied to the kite. Lastly make a tail for the kite out of plastic strips tied to the bottom of the kite. Flying a kite is easy. You just need sunny weather and wind that makes the leaves flutter. In case there is no wind, make wind by running.

          Kite flying is fun because it feels good when the kite is in the sky. Kite flying is tiring without wind. It is because you have to run. Be careful not to go into dangerous places like the road or the edge of a building top while running.


A reading of Jon’s written outputs would reflect this young man’s keen sense of humor, his natural facility in understanding and following step-by-step procedures, as well as his inclination towards creative thinking. He just recently transferred from a highly traditional to a progressive school espousing inclusion, where he seems to be thriving. This is Jon’s first reading intervention program. He has proven to be very much invested in the activities presented, as well as the strategies introduced; he has been noted to use said strategies with as little guidance as possible.