What to do
- Assemble a stack of 12 to 20 index cards, sampling various advanced phonics words and words that students already know (regular and irregular). The advanced phonics words could include: word families, double-letter words, silent-letter words, contractions, compound words, -ed words, and -s words.
- Now let's play a game. We're going to try to go through this stack of cards as fast as we can, saying the word on each card. Let's see how fast we can go. But there are some weird words in here. So remember what you've learned: Recap as many of the following as you need based on the card deck you assembled. It will usually be better to start with a small number of these word types and build to include them all in one deck.
- Sometimes a letter gets doubled. It appears twice like this: (show a card like fill), but you only say it once.
- Some letters stay silent, like this. Show a card like wrap. So if a word seems hard to say, maybe it's a word with a letter you should silence.
- Sometimes a word is made up of two shorter words, like this: (show a card like cowboy), so you have to read those two words and put them together.
- And when you read a word with an apostrophe in it, like this: (show a card like can't), just read it as if the apostrophe weren't there.
- Ready? Show students the first card from the stack. What's the word? Continue through to the end of the stack.
- Who can read these cards on their own? Call on a single student in the group, starting with a student you think may not be the fastest. Show the first card: What's the word? If the student is incorrect, correct him, have him repeat your answer, and move to the next card. Praise correct answers.
- Select the next quicker student, and repeat until all students in the group have worked through the stack.
- Okay, now let's go faster. Shuffle the stack of cards and repeat with students in the same order, but encourage them to go faster.
- If time and focus allow, shuffle and repeat at an even faster pace.
- For students who struggle, give them help and make a note of the type of word they struggled with in an Activity Log.