Learning to read is a skill everybody needs as it sets you up for life and is one that most people start to learn at a very young age. It isn’t a natural process and takes some effort learning the relationships between sounds and words and how to use them.
Phonics is a system that teaches children how read, write and spell in English, using different sounds to distinguish words from each other. Using phonemes (sounds) associated with particular graphemes (letters) you will learn to decode words, learn to read, write and spell and it can even help with speech. For example, to spell CAT you would first sound it out which becomes /k, æ, t/. This makes it look like a very complex learning tool, but phonics does make it easier (as I found out when having to use it having never been taught it). Despite the English alphabet only having 26 letters, phonics uses 44 unique sounds (phonemes) to learn how different letters work within different words. Once you master the sounds you should be able to use them to decode words and read them.
There are many ways to learn and teach phonics to help with reading, and one way to keep it fun and interesting is to incorporate it into a game. Got It! Learning have created some card games, designed by an experienced specialist teacher in line with the National Curriculum that covers phases 2-3 of Letters and Sounds. They include picture prompt cards, multi-sensory and dyslexia friendly cards, teaching simple and high frequency words and word endings.
The Got It! Learning cards come in five individual different sets to cover various stages of phonics from one syllable CVC words (consonant, vowel, consonant) such as CAT and DOG to more complex words such as PURE and JOINED.
- Set 1: Includes CVC, one syllable words like: dad, get, his, not, but. Covers all 26 initial alphabet sounds. Focus sounds: medial short vowels – a, e, i, o, u. Includes double final consonants: ll, ss, zz, ff
- Set 2: Includes words like: that, back, ship, much, long. Focus sounds: th, ck, sh, ch, ng
- Set 3: Includes words like: fail, feels, sigh, coats, too. Focus sounds: ai, ee, igh, oa, oo. Includes suffixes: s, es
- Set 4: Includes words like: hood, hard, short, turn, town. Focus sounds: oo, ar, or, ur, ow. Includes suffixes: s, es, ed, ing
- Set 5: Includes words like: joined, clear, pairs, pure, under. Focus sounds: oi, ear, air, ure, er. Includes suffixes: s, ed, ing
Each pack of cards contains:
- 5x Instruction cards
- 5x Picture prompt cards
- 8x Got it! cards
- 40x Word cards with 5 different sounds
We were sent Set 4 to try out that focus on words using the phonics sounds oo, ar, or, ur, ow. They feature 5 different games to play that take around 5 to 10 minutes each to play (each game can be played as a READING version or READING and SPELLING version). The games can be played by 2 to 4 players, aged 5-95! (they are not only good for children starting their reading journey but are good for dyslexic children and adults).
- Word Switch – This game is a sound matching game, and the winner is the one to get rid of all their cards by matching sounds to the card currently in play.
- Word Match – The game also using sound matching, and the winner is the first player to cover all of their cards.
- Word Pairs – This game also uses sounds matching and the idea is to collect as many pairs as you can.
- Word Race – This game requires putting your phonics skills to the test as fast as you can with the winner being the first one to discard all of their cards by reading the word on it correctly.
- Word Sets – This game sees the winner as the player that correctly collects three word sets using the blue letter sounds on the cards.
The Got It! Learning cards are a fun way to reinforce phonics and put skills to the test for emerging readers, especially as there are different ways to play them. The five games (and the two ways to play each game) are quite easy to set up and play. All the sounds are printed in blue on the cards (in each corner and within the word in the middle of each card) making it very clear what sound makes up each word. Whilst the games are fast and fun, there is also an added element with the Got It! cards to change the way a game is played and possibly the winner of a game! The Got It! cards make it that more interesting, enjoyable and help level up the different abilities of the players as the best reader will not necessarily always win.
We found that these cards are easy to use, the right size for small hands and the playing side of the card is uncluttered and not too busy so that young players can easily see what they are doing. As they are just a pack of cards they can be played at home and make an ideal travel game as well as they take up very little space (just make sure that you have pen and paper handy if you are playing the spelling versions). We can see that they would be ideal in a school setting as well.
With home learning more prominent these days, the Got It! Learning cards are an excellent tool to continue with and support a child’s education in a way that everyone can do, you do not need to be a qualified teacher to help your children with their reading and spelling.
If you want to buy the cards as individual sets rather than the full set of five but are not sure what set is best for your child’s level, Got It! Learning have created an assessment sheet to help you identify the most appropriate set for your needs.
A fun and easy way to support children with their reading. They take very little time to learn and children can have fun whilst still being educated. Learning through play is always a winner.
RRP: £9.95 per individual set pack or £42.50 for the full set of 1-5.
For more information or to buy, visit gotitlearning.co.uk.