You Oughta Know About… SPARKLE!

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Today I’m linking up with Ms. McClain for her “You Oughta Know” blog hop!  
Disclaimer:  I had a little too much fun writing this post!

You know what I think?  I think that you oughta know about a little something that I like to call SPARKLE!
No, not sparkle as in glitter…
Nope, not even sparkle as in diamonds…
And definitely not sparkle as in a vampire from Twilight!
The Sparkle that I’m talking about is an AMAZING game for practicing spelling words.  I mean what kid doesn’t absolutely love a good game?  Yeah, I can’t think of any either!

So back when I didn’t have a school to call my “home” and I subbed everyday, I ran across this idea of Sparkle.  The kiddos kept asking, “Mr. Sizemore, when we finish can we PLEEEEEEEASE play Sparkle?!?”  So me, not knowing what Sparkle was, and them, claiming they knew all the rules, agreed we could play Sparkle when everyone had finished what they were working on.
Best. Decision. Ever.
Here’s how Sparkle works:

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!”


  1. Love this game. I played it every Thursday with my class to help them review for the test. I also had a set of Rebecca Sittons high frequency words. We'd gather around for a game of SPARKLE with those words whenever we had a few extra minutes. The kids had a blast and by the end of the year every student could spell all of those words!
    Crockett's Classroom, Forever in Third Grade

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