It is literally so simple. The only “prep” work is writing the spelling words in a visible location. That’s it. Really. No worksheets, no laminating, no cutting.
My kiddos BEGGED to play this throughout the year. I usually had them play during the last 5 minutes of phonics instruction OR as an activity if we finished something early. Sometimes I offered a prize to the winner. I would never tell them when the round was for a prize which kept engagement high. In my class, if a student wasn’t following along and didn’t know what letter/word we were on, that student was out.
Now if you are in a school where parents may not be able to work with their kiddos at home as much as you would like, this game helps TREMENDOUSLY! I think it’s the addition of speech and auditory elements that make it successful for those kiddos who just don’t “get it” from writing it, or coloring it, or stamping it. I always had kiddos ask to play it every time we had indoor recess!
But the best part about Sparkle is this… I didn’t actually begin the year with my kiddos playing this game. I was trying to stick to what the rest of my team was doing for phonics instruction – that didn’t last long. My kiddos were excelling in phonics (we had 30 minutes of just phonics instruction a day), but were failing their spelling tests! Even with practicing during our Word Work center, there was up to 12 of my kiddos who were under 70%.
After adding Sparkle to our daily phonics routine, my class average was consistently in the high 80s and 90s. That’s some pretty good results if you ask me!
Bottom line: Sparkle is easy and it’s free, so it’s worth a try in your class if your kiddos need some extra spelling help.
Head over to [Ms. McClain’s blog] to check out some other things that “You Oughta Know!”