I received a copy of this game to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own.
Recently I was given the opportunity to review The Reading Game from the author of Worldy Wise. I grew up on the Wordly Wise workbooks, and know their high quality vocabulary instruction well. I also know how bored I was in middle school completing those close passages day after day. I do credit them with the excellent score I received on my SATs, but yes, to be honest, I remembered boredom.
When receiving my copy of The Reading Game, I anticipated an activity which would be very high quality instruction, and very boring. I was only 1/2 right. The game was very instructive and, anything but boring.
The game came with
- 6 decks of cards for playing memory
- 6 sets of picture cards
- 6 story books
- parent/teacher guide
My 4 year old son couldn’t wait to play the game and almost ripped the box trying to “help” me get it out. He was soon excited that I was hard to read the directions, fortunately they were really simple. You get out the deck of cards for the first book, and start with the set marked with a 1 (there are 6 sub-sets of 10 cards for every card set). Then you use those cards to play memory. My son really isn’t great with letters yet, so I figured that he would struggle and give up with the game rather quickly, but because he was so excited we started to play. We took turns flipping over cards and deciding if the words on the cards were the same or not the same. When we found 2 cards with the same words on them, I told my son what they said and, we held them up and repeated the word a few times before continuing to play. When you finish 1 sub-set of cards you are supposed to play again with that set until the child masters the words. Then you move on the each subsequent set and do the same thing. In between sets 2 and 3, and sets 4 and 5 there are picture caption cards to assess their word recall and determine whether to move to the next set or not. When they finish with all the sub-sets for a particular level there is an accompanying book they can read using the words they just learned.
I would love to say I was super responsible and followed all the steps to a T, but my son’s excitement over the book was contagious, and I wanted to read it too. So we played the matching game about 3 times with the first sub-set of cards then we skipped over all the rest and read the first book in the series, Skunk. The illustrations in the book were extremely engaging, and my son was really excited about the story. Better than that though was the moment when he started jumping up and down and announcing that he could see the word, “cat”. He had only learned to read that word in the card game a few minutes before!
I figured that he would forget the word, and perhaps loose interest in the game after reading the book, but not at all. It is his new favorite thing to do. We taught his older sister how to play the game and as she is an advanced reader in second grade the word list and stories are easy enough for her to play tutor to her little brother. He asks her all the time to play it with him, and she loves the game too.
The first day I tried to take it to school, my son grabbed the box and started to cry. I had to promise to bring it home again at the end of the day.
In the classroom, this activity seems best handled by a tutor. While you can absolutely play this in a small group it would be much more difficult to manage knowing when all students in the group have learned the words and are ready to move to the next sub-set of cards. I found that one-on-one worked best. The instructions and activities are extremely simple and straightforward, making this activity perfect for a student-tutor, adult tutor, or parent volunteer to work with students on.The game is also rather quick to play and can be squeezed in rather easily in a free moment in the day to give your students a bit more practice.
On their website, www.thereadinggame.com, there are also free assessment sheets and a class recording sheet. You can check them out by clicking on the educators tab at the top of their screen, or by clicking here.
Intersted in getting this game for your students? It is currently available in the Scholastic Classroom Bonus Catalog for Bonus Points for Scholastic Book Club Teacher Members. It is 1190 points and the item no is 045696. And BONUS! I loved the game so much that The Reading Game Company is offering out a free copy to one of my lucky readers. Just Enter in the rafflecopter giveaway below,I will email the winner at the end of the giveaway and they will need to email me back their snail mail address so the game can be sent out to them.
a Rafflecopter giveaway