Cando Helper 3–ABC Order, Spelling, Reading Comprehension, Maps, Writing and Music

Cando Helper

Alphabetical Order

Cando Helper offers multiple options for teaching alphabetical order. There are 10 drag and drop activities where students use a mouse to drag letters of the alphabet into the grid in ABC order. 

These are arranged in groupings of 6 letters and divided by upper and lower case.  Next there is a similar section practicing the skill using words instead of letters. 

There are 5 practice activities where students place words using only the first letter and an additional five where students need to use the first and second letter to correctly place words.

There are 11 activities which can be printed, using Fry words sorted by the first letter, first and second letter, or first second and third letters.

Reading and Comprehension Practice

I used the Reading and Comprehension Practice for very quick progress monitoring or a fast assessment with new students. There are approximately 20 short stories which are evaluated using the Flesch-Kincaid formula for readability with a level between 0.0 and 6.9. Following the short passages there are multiple choice questions about the reading. The results page can be quickly printed–allowing for quick progress monitoring. 

There are additional reading activity questions on a variety of topics:  penguins, doing chores, Thanksgiving theme, Maine, and taking a vacation. Most of these contain multiple choice questions and some have vocabulary work, puzzles, work on reading graphs or other reading skills. Toward the bottom of the page there are mixed comprehension activities such as fact/opinion, analogies, directions, map skills, and character traits.

Maps and Directions

This section begins with spatial relationships (around, between, front and back, in and out, inside and outside, left and right, near and far, off and on, and under and over). There are short videos illustrating each of these spatial relationships.

There are 10 activities using flash giving students practice using map skills. These include using a grid, the compass rose, following directions, satellite images, and measuring distance on a map. 

There are also ten paper and pencil activities and links to outside resources such as National Geographic Map activities and lesson plans for elementary teachers on map skills.

Writing Conventions

The dialogue in this section describes a sentence as having a “naming part” (subject) and a “doing part” (predicate). These are not the terms I have used in my classroom, however the activities are interchangeable with just a few vocabulary differences. 

There are many activities for students to practice working with sentences both online and in print, including cut and paste activities.  There is also a section working on capitalization activities and one for letter writing activities. Included at the bottom are creative writing activities practicing with the 5 W’s and an H.


The spelling work available from this website uses predominantly the Fry words or the Sitton Spelling Word List of High -Frequency Writing Words. The Sitton words are the most frequently used words in our language. The first 25 words are said to be used in 33% of daily writing, with the first 100 words appearing in 50% of adult and student writing. The first 1000 words are said to be used in 89% of daily writing.

The online practice pronounces a word and asks the student to type the word they heard. There are 10 levels of practice.

Additionally there are folded word booklets which you can make for the 1200 words. There are also opportunities for paper/pencil practice.

Board Games

There are board games available for short vowel sounds, CVC words, initial consonant sounds, letter recognition, blends, Fry sight words and consonant digraphs. Although the games don’t have a lot of animation, they do provide solid practice on the concepts and are self-checking.

There is also a Billionaire game for initial digraph sounds.

Performance Reading and Music

Using songs to help teach reading is certainly not new. Although dated, there are several songs and related activities which you might find helpful using these songs:

The Garden Song by Dave Mallett,

America by Samuel Francis Smith

You’re A Grand Old Flag by George M Cohen

Country Roads by John Denver

Delta Dawn by Alex Harvey and Larry Collins

Puff the Magic Dragon by Peter Paul and Mary (may want to use discretion with this one since some believe it relates to the drug culture)

Up oOn the Housetop by Benjamin Hanby

Calendar Girl by Neil Sedaka

Again, the songs are dated but there are some worthwhile activities hidden within this section.

Cando Helper

This website may not have the latest graphics an animation, but the foundation is solid. There are some very helpful pages for teachers (particularly for primary teachers or those working with beginning readers of any age. Check it out and see what it has to offer for you and your students!  If you have not already looked at the blog posts for parts I and II, check them out to see overviews of the various components available from Cando Helper.

A huge thanks to Ray Beaudoin for all the countless hours he spent constructing this free site and for sharing it with teachers worldwide.

Another idea (from my TPT Store):

Click here to be directed to this product.

Product Description

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.

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


Looking for additional resources?