Cando Helper I

Cando Helper is an extensive source for teachers working with beginning readers. This week I will feature the READINESS components. Additional features will be showcased in future blogs–stay tuned!

History Ray Beudoin is a former teacher in a primary class and a Title I teacher. He developed these resources to use in his classes. Although Ray focused on first and second grade students, I have used parts of the website with high school special education students.


Clicking within the Readiness tab brings four categories, capital and lowercase letters, spatial concept and more, rhyming, and listening skills. Information Alphabet Information Page–Resource breaks down the alphabet to show which letters look the same (upper case and lower case), alike (similar) and very different.  For example:  same Cc, alike Tt, and different Dd. Upper and Lowercase Letters Clicking on any letter will show the strokes and produce an animated example of how to form each letter. This is a good source to share with parents who want to help their children learn to write but need information to help them do this correctly. Alphabet Booklets Printable booklets give pictures to represent each upper and lower case letter. There is also a pdf file for an alphabet poster.

Letter Recognition

Flash Cards This is great for testing student recognition of letters. As a letter is displayed, the teacher hits yes if the child recognizes the letter and no if they do not. Results are printable and will allow data collection.

Alphabet Flash A stack of upper case letters and lower case letters can be manipulated separately or together.

Common Confusions Frequently confused asks students to identify the lower case letter which matches the stimulus upper case letter by circling the corresponding letter. It is self-checking.

The Letter Bb This is an animation to help students remember how to make the easily confused b and how to associate it with B. Letter Recognition Data collection is easy with the Cando Flash Card feature. Letters are displayed and the adult indicates Yes (the student recognizes the letter) or No (the student does not recognize the letter. Results are computed and you can print results.

Alphabet Flash This displays both upper and lower case letters. They can be displayed together Aa or student can flash through and try to match the upper and lower case letter. These activities provide online practice for students to match upper and lowercase letters. In addition there are several pages of practice where students click and drag a line under the match to a target letter. The activity is self-checking. It is available for Aa, Bb, Dd, Ee, Hh, Gg, Jj, Kk,Mm, Nn,Pp, Qq, Ss, Tt, Vv, Ww, Yy and Zz. Printable worksheets are also available for paper and pencil practice. A sample may be found here, but the website contains multiple practice sheets for each type.

Spatial Concepts Off-on, over-under, left-right, front-back, inside-outside, up-down, between, around, near-far, and in-out are illustrated with pictures (some animated).

Classifying Drag items to their correct location to practice classification. There are also worksheets which are paper and pencil printable activities for students to classify clothes, toys animals, transportation, holiday, tools, insects and foods.  There are 9 sequencing activities. They are paper and pencil activities and printable.

Left an Right There is a tracking exercise where students practice eye tracking left to right, following eyes across a page.

Visual Discrimination 10 online activities have students drag and drop an X to the three objects in a row which are the same.

Visual Memory There are four visual memory exercises. This is not one of the activities I saw a great use for with my students–but it is there if it works for you.

RHYMING PAGE Rhyming Practice Activities The first three multiple choice activities show students two words and ask them to click YES or NO to indicate whether or not they rhyme. There are eight TRY IT activities where students drag and drop an X to indicate the two words which rhyme. Three activities ask students to draw an electronic line to connect words which rhyme.

Paper and Pencil Work 13 activities are printable worksheets for independent practice as students work to practice identifying rhyming words. In addition there are 8 cut and paste practice activities.

Additional Websites Ray Beudoin lists additional helpful rhyming activities.

LISTENING SKILLS Students practice auditory discrimination by pushing the “listen” button on a radio and then locating the same sound from the choices on the screen. As the student progresses through the activities, they move from tones, to sounds, words, rhyming words, short sentences. The last four exercises ask students to locate the sounds that are different. CANDO helper is packed with resources for the busy teacher. Explore  these readiness ideas and look for the other features available. Future blogs will describe some of the other activities you may want to use in your classroom. Again–it is free!

Reading Specialty Product Available from the TPT Store:

Not sure how to use the language experience approach? Have a volunteer, aide, or tutor coming but no time to explain what to do? Working with struggling reader or want to expand the vocabulary of your students? This guide will enable you to promote reading and writing through the use of personal experiences. Guide can be used in a 1 on 1 tutorial situation, small groups, or full class instruction. Use this integrated whole language approach to reading and writing.

Using Language Experience with All Levels of Readers
Included in the unit:

• Step by step instructions for completing a language experience story
• How to use the story for beginning readers
• Incorporating phonics instruction in the language experience story
• making a comprehension connection
• student work page