Welcome to this week’s wrap where I share some of the successes and challenges of being a specialist dyslexia teacher.
Using phonics games to help teach reading and spelling is a great way to engage your students, practice using skills they’ve learned as well as have some fun.
I’ve recently come across a new phonics game that my students have thoroughly been enjoying, so I thought I’d share the game with you.
Trugs is a card game that follows a systematic synthetic phonics approach, so fits in very nicely with the Sounds~Write program that I use with my students. The game comes in different boxes that includes stages and each stage builds on what has already been covered.
The boxes and stages include:
Box 1: Approx reading age 6 – 7.5 years
Stage 1 – CVC words, examples: sat, yes, big, fox, hug.
Stage 2 – CCVC words, examples: pram, flip, trip, snack.
Stage 3 – CVCC and CCVCC words, examples: left, best, crash, drank.
Stage 4 – two syllable words, examples: tablet, lesson, ticket, sunhat.
Stage 5 – /ar/ /or/ /er/, examples: carport, standard.
Box 2: Approx reading age 7.5 – 9 years
Stage 6 – split digraph, examples: make, fine, code.
Stage 7 – vowel digraphs and trigraphs, examples: snail, light, boat.
Stage 8 – alternative vowel digraphs, examples: boy, out, paw.
Stage 9 – two syllable words, examples: limit, pilot.
Stage 10 – three syllable words, examples: consider, discontent.
Box 3: Approx reading age 9 – 15 years
Stage 11 – ‘c’ as in /s/, examples: mice, pencil, succeed.
Stage 12 – ‘g’ as in /j/, examples: gen, page, rigid.
Stage 13 – consonant le, examples: candle, sensible.
Stage 14 – four syllable words, examples: independent.
Stage 15 – suffixes with ‘ti’, ‘ci’, ‘si’, examples: electrician.
Getting the cards ready
Each box contains 5 decks of card for each of the Stages and are labeled with their stage number. The cards need to be sorted into their different games, each game is a different color. I used matching color rubber bands to keep the cards for each game together.
There are three card games at each stage and each game progressively gets more difficult with the words used. The same 3 games are used at each Stage.
Game 1 – Guess it (green)
This game is for 2 players. Each player has a Master Card that includes 4 sets of words underneath a colored shape. The remainder of the cards are shuffled and go face down on the playing surface. The first player looks at the colored shape on the top card and then guesses what word it could be by looking at the Master Card and selecting (reading) a corresponding word from that same colored shape. The second player also selects a different word from the corresponding shape. The first player turns the card over. If it matches either players word then that player gets to keep the card. If not, then it goes to the bottom of the pile.
What I like about this game is that you need to remember which words have been said and either won or gone to the bottom of the pile. I’ve tried this game with my youngest students and used Stage 1 as well as some of my older students and used Stage 4. All of them have enjoyed playing and as you can imagine it gets quite competitive.
Game 2 – Match it (pink)
Match it is quite similar to Uno and is for 2-4 players. Each player is dealt 5 cards and one card is turned over next to the pile, which is facing down. If the first player can match (and read) either the same color or same number as the card turned over, then he/she can place it on top of the card. If not, then that player picks up a card to add to their hand. If a player has a ‘Trugs’ card then that player can place that card down and then select the color they want the cards to be. The first player to use up all of their cards is the winner.
Game 3 – Take it (yellow)
This game is also for 2 – 4 players. The cards are placed face down on the playing surface. The first player turns over the top card and reads it and then puts it in front of them. The second player does the same. Players continue taking turns and collecting words into sets (5 sets of 4), reading each word they collect. When a player picks a card with a word that is the same color (set) as another player, then he / she can take all of the cards from that palyer, read them and then add them to their pile. Play continues with cards being collected in sets, but also continually taken by players. The player ending up with the most sets of cards is the winner.
I’ve just purchased the first 2 boxes (home version). There are also packs available for schools that include more cards. If you’d like to find out more then visit the Trugs website and you can also go to their International Stockists page to find out how to buy them in your country. I paid about $85 AUD, so they’re not cheap, but I think I will get the value out of them as the students (and me) enjoy playing the games so much.
If you’d like to find some more phonics games then have a look at my posts:
For More TnT Weekly Wrap’s, see these:
- TnT Weekly Wrap: Reading Success;
- TnT Weekly Wrap: Free Play Dough Mats; and
- TnT Weekly Wrap: New Planning Structure.