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Roosevelt 1st Graders Become Word Detectives

First graders at Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School were sworn in as Word Detectives after mastering the techniques it takes to identify words and build their reading skills.


Students demonstrated their knowledge when K-12 ELA Supervisor Dr. Ryan O’Hara, also known as Chief of Detectives for the Word Detective Bureau District Wide, visited their classrooms and quizzed them to assess if they were, indeed, ready to become Word Detectives.

Dr. O'Hara as Chief of Word Detectives   chart of word strategies Dr. O'Hara checks students answers about being word detectives

Students eagerly raised their hands and voiced four different word techniques that they learned in class and have been practicing every day. “Notice a problem and stop to solve it,” they said as Dr. O’Hara checked the answer off on his clipboard. “Look CLOSELY from start to end,” “Do a s-l-o-w check” and “Use everything you know,” they added. Impressed with their answers, Chief O’Hara asked his young candidates to stand. He handed each of them a magnifying glass and a detective’s badge, and asked them to raise their right hand and repeat the Word Detective oath. Much to their delight, the students were officially sworn in as Word Detectives!

Dr. O'Hara hands out word detective badges to students  Dr.O'Hara swears in students as Word Detectives  class becomes word detectives

"The children were very impressed by Dr. O'Hara and couldn't wait to be part of his Word Detective team," said first-grade teacher Ms. Coleen Brunken. “They know that being a Word Detective is a very important job and it will help them to become better readers. The children are always on the lookout for challenges.  They look closely at their words and think about word endings, vowels and what would make sense as they read.”


First-grade students in Ms. Stacey Cowan’s class, Ms. Donna Pierro’s class, Mr. Marisa Rendanos’class and Ms. Megan Rotbart’s and Jaime Surace’s class were equally thrilled to become Word Detectives.


“Our first-grade students have proven to me that they are working hard to uncover new words and improve their reading skills,” said Dr. O’Hara. “I know they will keep up the good work in their new responsibility as Word Detectives.”