Do you have learners who sound out CVC words, but do it oooh sooo slowwwlly?
Cat isn’t “cat.” It’s “/k/ /ă/ /t/.”
Or maybe they mix up their middle vowels. Sip becomes “sap.”
I’m currently working with a group of sweet, bright first graders for about 20 minutes each morning before they start the school day.
Before our first session, their teachers had told me that they needed help with basic reading skills.
So I printed the most advanced of my Race to the Pond games – the one which includes CVC words with all five short vowels. I put the students in pairs, and we began to play.
But when I saw how slowly they sounded out the words – and how often they mixed up those middle vowels – I knew I needed to back up.
So I created a set of 18 Roll & Read games. Each one builds on the one before.
Every game follows the same pattern. Students roll a die, read the corresponding column, and color in a circle at the bottom. They keep doing this until they demonstrate that they can read each row quickly and smoothly. When they do well on a full page, we color the trophy, and they advance to the next game.
I call them our Fast & Fluent games.
This is the second game. Even though this game also features short a CVC words, each row has a variety of different word families.
This game requires students to read to the end of each word. To pass the page, the students have to read each word at a decent rate.
They have to do better than “/t/ /ă/ /b/.” I sometimes let “taaaab” go, depending on the learner. However, my goal is for each of them to be fast and fluent with all the CVC words.
After students demonstrate fluency with short a words, they move on to short o words – first a page of rhyming words, like this one. Following it is a page of mixed short o words.
The last game, number 18, includes a mix of short vowel CVC words.
With practice, all five students are getting better at sounding out their CVC words correctly and quickly!
- You’ll likely find that you can spend at least 10 minutes on the games your first few sessions. But after that, they will start to lose their appeal. Play other games for the majority of your session, but return to these folders for at least 5 minutes of focused practice.
- Some students will love the dice aspect, and others will tire of it. Don’t require them to use the die unless they wish.
- If you listen to a child work through a page and s/he reads a few columns well, color the die at the top of each of these columns. That way the child will know that s/he has “passed” those columns and need only work on the remaining ones to move on to the next game.
- Sometimes sounding out CVC words finally “clicks.” If that happens, you may find that a learner who previously struggled can read the final game without difficulty. In that case, of course, you wouldn’t finish the folder. I recommend moving on to words with blends and digraphs.
Be sure to visit my Free Printables page to see all the other options I share for reading CVC words!
Decodable Passages: CVC Words
Use these 23 decodable passages to help new readers develop fluency with CVC words. Each page includes blending practice, a short reading passage, a comprehension question, and spelling practice.
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Phonics Books & Games: CVC Words
Get this bundle of printable books and games for focused phonics practice! You’ll get 25 books with a variety of printing options, plus 60 printable games!