Today one of my students was remaking his cut up sentence. I noticed that he always placed the sentence in one long line. I couldn’t help but notice as I was being elbowed out of the way to make room for the last few words!
When he pasted his sentence in his homework book at home he did not have the room to make one long line, so I knew that he could remake and read the sentence in multiple lines when he had no other choice.
I moved the words around and asked him if he could read the sentence again which he easily did. I asked him if it was still the same sentence and he agreed that it was. He needs to be flexible in reading lines of words as books (and other texts) have a variety of layouts. I also wanted to rearrange the words to encourage him to phrase his oral reading (i.e. run words together in a natural way as we say them, not word by word).
Each time I rearranged the sentence he read it slightly differently,mostly just pausing at the end of each line. (I emphasized that the word order had to be kept the same.)
He was given the opportunity to remake the sentence any other way he wanted. (See left.) I valued his choice although it wasn’t the best layout for grouping words together to sound like a capable reader.
My student is learning that the same sentence can be rearranged in different ways, but it is still the same sentence. He is also learning to put natural pauses between groups of words that go together as he is reading aloud.