Looking for a way for students to practice alternate spellings of common sounds like /ae/ or /er/? Spin, Read & Write phonics games are just what you need in your teaching tool kit. It’s a great addition to your phonics center or to use as an option for partner work, providing needed practice with reading and writing words of target sounds.
Using phonics games to practice reading and writing
Spin, Read and Write phonics games require two things: game boards with spinners and two different colored dry erase markers. Students spin a spinner, read the word the spinner points to, and then write the word on the game grid. The goal is to get four words in a row in your color.
Spin, Read and Write phonics games focus on a particular sound—including the different ways it can be spelled. This provides a fun way to practice alternate spellings, which can be tricky for some students.
Demonstrate how to play. Start by spinning and reading the word. Then, as you write the word, segment the sounds. You can point out how a particular sound, like /ee/, is spelled (possibly with more than one letter.) Once you have written the word, blend the sounds together to say the word again. Have students follow these steps as they play the game.
Using phonics games in and out of the classroom
If you have small groups or partners working in your phonics center together, you can put out these games for students to play. Swap out the games to focus on the set of sounds you are teaching at any given time. Once you have covered sounds, you can also put out games focused on any sound you’ve covered to act as ongoing review.
You can also use these phonics games for an informal assessment. Either observe two students playing or play the game with a student yourself. Phonics games used as an assessment can alleviate stress for some students and give you a better sense of their abilities.
These games can travel home for additional practice. Teach students the game before sending it home. Give students an alternative, such as taking both places but only aiming for 3 in a row, in case they do not have anybody who can play with them at home.
Phonics games done for you
I’ve put together 40 different game boards focusing on five different sound sets:
Set 1: Sound /ae/, Spellings: ay, ea, a-e, ai, ai, eigh, ei
Set 2: Sound /ee/, Spellings: e, ea, y, ee, ey, ie
Set 3: Sound /oe/, Spellings: o, oa, ow, o-e, oe
Set 4: Sound /er/, Spellings: er, ir, or, ur, ear
Set 5: Sound /e/, Spellings: e, ea, ai
Each set includes 1, 2, and 3 syllable words to help differentiate for student abilities.
All you need to do is download, print, laminate (for ongoing use), and set up the spinner. If you have spinner pieces, you can use them on these game boards, but you can also easily use a paper clip. Once game boards are set up, you can use them over and over.
Phonics Games and More
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