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First-grade "Word Detectives" visit the Super Secret Detective Agency

On a Top-Secret Mission to become awesome readers, first-graders from Glenwood, Tioga Hills and Vestal Hills Elementary Schools took a clandestine trip to the Super-Secret Detective Agency hidden in a super-secret location somewhere in the Vestal School District. Upon arrival, they were greeted by School Resource Officer Conor Talbut, who quickly deputized them with special badges as they came off of the school bus.

Following signs, the students and their teachers quickly made their way to their mysterious destination. For several weeks, they have been working hard on a unit to become “Word Detectives,” practicing good habits for solving mystery words in their books. Once inside the Super-Secret Detective Agency, they were congratulated on accomplishing their mission by Tioga Hills First-grade Teacher Denise England. She led them through a review of how to untangle the pronunciation of unfamiliar words as she read “The Gingerbread Man” aloud to them. As she came to a difficult word, the first-graders helped her with clues. “Break it apart into smaller pieces,” suggested one. 

“Look at the picture,” said another.

“Do a double check,” reminded a third.

Together, they solved the unusual words sprinkled throughout the book.

Their next mission was to pair up and read a favorite book to their partner. The final mission was even more fun. Each pair of students were given an envelope with a super-secret clue in it. They had to read the clue and decipher what word it was referring to. Once all the partners had their words, they put them together to read the answer: “There is a surprise for you outside the classroom door.”

Wow! Another Super-SUPER secret mission?! Suddenly, through the door came a Detective of the Super-Secret Detective Agency (aka Dr. Laura Lamash). She needed help from the students on a special assignment. Could they help her find her words? She had some very special words, but they were lost and she needed to find them to finish a case. The first-grade students were delighted to assist the funny, slightly bumbling detective. Excitedly, they pointed to the back of her Sherlockian cape. The words she was searching for were right there! Relieved, she thanked them, gave them some “thank-you” gifts and then whisked away to her next caper.

The mastermind behind this Super-Secret Detecting adventure was Sarah Evans, the Vestal Central School District’s Literacy Specialist. We wanted to thank her for plotting this diabolically clever assignment for our Super-Smart Word Detectives.

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