Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Reading Game - a review

As I have mentioned before I believe phonics is the absolute best way to teach children to read. Molly is working through a phonics curriculum, and that is working well for her. However, I do agree that there is a place for some sight reading and that if a child can learn a few words quickly they can start reading quickly and build confidence. And confidence, I have learned through teaching all three kids to read, is truly the key to reading fluently and enjoying reading. So, I was excited to try "The Reading Game" with Molly to see if some simple sight reading would increase her confidence and give her the skills to start reading the simple books that come with the game.

The Reading Game is a simple matching game that starts with just 5 words: cat, can, not, me, and is. Since Molly has had some instruction in phonics I introduced the words and we sounded them out together before playing the matching game. The goal is for the child to be able to know these 5 words instantly without having to sound them out. Molly learned these 5 words VERY quickly. We played the game three or four times the first day it arrived and by the end of those 3-4 times she knew the words. The following day I made sure she remembered the words and we then moved on to game 2: sad, she, stay, this, with. These words, as you can see, are a little tougher and not as easily sounded out phonetically. So, it took her a little longer to learn these words. After we had played the game she was so excited to point out the words to me when we came across them in other reading. One Sunday she kept pointing out the words "is" and "me" in the hymnal, she was so excited that she could read real words in a real book!

After 2 sets of cards there are sample sentences you can have your child read to make sure they can read the words without hesitation. After 6 sets of cards (or games) the child should be able to read the corresponding book. For example, the skunk cards were the first set of cards, and after the 6 sets of 10 cards each Molly was ready to read the "Skunk" book. She loved the fact that she was reading a book, with a real story, not just a couple of words on a page. The words learned in the skunk story are all able to be sounded out phonetically so it is easy to incorporate phonics in with the game, which is exactly what we did.

The game, which retails on the website for $24.95 contains six different sets of cards and the six corresponding books: "Skunk", "Snake", "Bear", "Penguins", "Unicorn", and "Zebra". By the end of the six books the student will have a 180 word reading vocabulary. I am hopeful that we will be able to get through these books this school year and really increase Molly's enjoyment of reading--not that it is a problem right now, she LOVES reading, but increasing that enjoyment is even better.

Molly loves this game and asks to play it regularly. She loves any memory-matching game, or any game that Mommy plays with her, so this is a natural way for her to add to her reading vocabulary. Also, though Zach is reading well above the level of the game he enjoyed it, and the played it together a few times.

The books themselves are great. Molly and Zach, as well as myself, like them because they are stories, not just words on a page, or separate sentences on each page that don't tell a story. The only problem I had with the book is that there is no capitalization or punctuation. I have always introduced capital letters and periods at the very beginning of reading instruction, and that has worked well for Paul and Zach. So, no punctuation is just a little strange to me.

The Reading Game can be incorporated in to any reading curriculum in private school, public school, or homeschool.

Please be sure and see what other TOS Crew Members thought of the game here.

Disclosure: We received this game for free in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions stated here are my honest opinion. There was no other compensation given for this review.

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1 comment:

Jennifer said...

That is cool about her starting to recognize words in the hymnal now.