These games are for a student who muddles the middles of long words, providing a way to practice detached syllables and gain confidence with words of two or more syllables. Once they have mastered three-letter words, children with reading problems need to read detached syllables if they are to progress beyond second-grade level. The trouble is that they are often bored with decoding detached syllables, but you get their full attention when they are playing this game. In fact, my third graders and fourth graders seem to look forward to this part of the lesson.
The games come in four levels for grades two through five and up. Each level has 18 or 20 games, with nine words of two or three syllables in each game.
Winning is based on luck and play-by-play decisions that have nothing to do with decoding skill, so the teacher can win half the time. The first two-syllable games are easy enough for second graders, and the three-syllable games require enough strategy to hold the interest of older children.
The manual is thorough, and the games come in ready-to-use packets. Just shuffle in five piles and play. Keep a score sheet. Winning is not dependent on decoding skill.
Level 1 - grade 2 and up - 20 two-syllable games
Level 2 - grade 3 and up - 10 two-sylable and 10 three-syllable games
Level 3 - grade 4 and up - 4 two-syllable and 14 three-syllable games Level 4 - grade 5 and up - 4 two-syllable and 14 three-syllable games
76 Parallel games in the same four levels contain nonsense words for students whose word attack lags behind their memorized vocabulary. Each game contains one real word, which gets two points. These are the same words as the words in the Dividing Pages.
Students who are bewildered by accented and unaccented syllables can figure out their words without having to use accent marks. For example,
the a in majestic is colored pink to show that it sounds like
a schwa, a short u, or a short anything--your choice.
The cards are age-neutral in format and can be used with adult basic-literacy students, who can use the cards without playing the games. All the syllables in the nonsense words are useful syllables that come from real words, which are listed in the manual.
THE DIVIDING PAGES FOR PRACTICING THE RULES OF SYLLABICATION.
37 large-print pages of words come with the games. Each page has 16 nonsense words for practicing the most useful rules of syllabication. Children enjoy putting fences between the syllables with colored pens and take pride in becoming automatic with the rules, especially when they know they don't have to read the words they have just divided. (The games take care of the reading.) I have to add that some more advanced pupils are able to read the words off
the page after dividing them, but they don't do this until they have first done all the pages without reading them.
Because these are nonsense words, students can't possibly be familiar with them and are forced to use the rules. The manual makes the rules easy to teach, and the games take care of words that don't follow the rules.
This way the business of dividing words and reading them is broken into two separate processes. Later, your students can kick away the training wheels and manage both at once--as advanced readers do without even thinking about it.
These pages can be photocopied for each lesson, or they can be placed in plastic page protectors and used with colored Vis a Vis pens (which children especially enjoy).