I blogged many times before that Aikman LOVES games. So, when I was selected to review The Reading Game, I was thrilled.
The Reading game was created by Kenneth Hodkinson, the author of the the Wordly Wise series. It is designed for grades Pre-K through 1st grade reading levels, and covers 180 words, many of which are on the high-frequency and Dolch word lists for these grade levels.
The Reading Game is a set of 6 different colored decks of cards, each containing 30 words. Each set of cards is divided into 6 smaller numbered sets – 5 words per set. The main idea of the game is to use the cards to play memory, until the words are ingrained into memory. Once two sets of cards are learned, the child takes a “reading test” (sentence or two using the words), to make sure that the words in this set are truly mastered. After all 6 numbered sets are mastered, the child has learned enough words to read the reader by himself.
Here’s a video that shows how to play this game a little better… (note: the cards have been updated so that they do not look like the cards shown below, but rather the cards in the image above.)
The books cover the same words that are found in the corresponding colored card deck, with the latter books containing some review words from the previous card decks. Each book contains wonderful hand-drawn images and a storyline based around an animal.
What we thought…
Initially, Aikman wanted the play the game daily. At first, he became frustrated that I only said the word when he got a match. Instead, he insisted that I tell him the words regardless of whether they were a match, so he could correctly say the words when he did get a match. So, we changed the rules of the game to accommodate this request.
After a few weeks, he got tired of playing the game, so we did take break for a few weeks, but I do bring it out every 3-4 school days, to review the old sight words and introduce new words.
There are a few things that did not fit our learning style. First, the game seemed “flashcard-y,” which is not a style of teaching that I prefer. Instead, I am probably going to incorporate the cards into a different style game that does fit Aikman’s learning style much better.
Likewise, the books are designed so that there is no capitalization or punctuation, and some words are divided into sight words (ie without is written with•out). I am not a fan of leaving off the punctuation or capitalization, as it does teach proper grammar. However, I can understand why the author decided to do this, as the text follows EXACTLY how the words are viewed on the cards, and for small children who may not be familiar with all of the letters. The author did suggest that after mastery of reading the books, the child can go back and grammatically correct the sentences as an extension, which we will do at a later point.
Personally, I think this game has tremendously helped my son transition from only reading CVC words (pink Montessori language) solely by sounding them out letter by letter to fluidly reading about 50 sight words (we are currently in the orange/snake card deck). This fluidity has transferred over to reading CVC words as well. For this reason, we will continue to use this program as a supplement to our other reading activities.
Disclaimer: As a part of the TOS crew, I received this product free of charge in exchange for a review, whether positive or negative. I did not receive any additional compensation.