Category: Literacy Resources

That Was Easy Game

A Literacy Game For Engaged Practice

This game was taught to me by one of our staff members who teaches Reading Recovery. Reading Recovery in our district is when one specialized teacher takes students from grade 1 and spends 20 -30 minutes a day with them targeting their reading skills. Sometimes groups are taken and sometimes they work with students one on one. I had the pleasure of working with this teacher this year for reading as my class was in need of directed teachings around reading. One of the ways she taught me to incorporate sight words into my literacy centers is through the use of this game called That Was Easy. The game is honestly so simple and SO effective. The kids would continue to ask me to play it every time we had literacy centers.

How To Play

You will need a button from Staples that looks like this: Staples Talking EASY BUTTON - Complete Red/Silver: Office  Products

You can purchase them at you can also buy them on Amazon. They are cheap and when you’re students learn this game they will want to play constantly. You will also need flash cards. These cards should be words that your students have already learned and preferably sight words is they are for better word recognition.

You will separate the cards out across a rainbow table or wherever you’re working. There should be a few separate piles with the words facing up. The game is an accuracy and speed game. Tell the students to practice the words they see in front of them in their mind, so that if someone takes the word they wanted they know other words. A student picks a card from the pile, says it out loud and then clicks the button. It is then the next persons turn. The idea is to go quickly, so students must always be practicing reading all the words in front of them so when it’s their turn they can take any word. This game is so much fun for them and the button says “that was easy”. Students who struggle with sight words love this because it boosts their confidence because every time they get a word right, they’re reminded by the button that the word is now easy versus what it used to be. I continue to add words into the piles as the weeks go by. Whenever we learn new sight words, they are added to the piles. Eventually I take out words that students know by heart. This keeps the content fresh but also allows them to feel comfortable playing.

Sight Words

Phonics, Sight Words and Games

I have continued to look for ways to teach my students sight words. These are words that you cannot sound out because they do not follow the same pattern sounds. Most of the time teachers head in the direction of memorization. However, if you are like me, memorization is not your best skill. Similarly, many of the students have a hard time memorizing these words and yet these words continue to pop up in reading constantly. This year a friend of mine suggested a sight word book called Sounding Out the Sight Words An Alternative to Rote Memorization by Denis Eide and Cindy Kringelis. I found my copy on Amazon:

This book is amazing at being able to explain why sight words say the sounds that they do. It matches words into spelling patterns specifically for sight words. It is so easy to use because it breaks down what to say to students, how to review other words to increase word recognition and comes with a games book. Each of the lessons on a sound directly refers you three different games from their game book. Each game tells you the focus and purpose such as phonogram, word fluency and spelling. Here is the link to the game book.

Game Book

The games book is one of my favorite parts about this program. The book breaks down the games for each lesson through whole group instruction, small group or individual instruction. It makes the games easy to understand. I combine the games given by the book with other games that I have learned over the years. This makes teaching phonics and reviewing words fun and exciting. During our games I am able to also target social emotional skills if students struggle with losing or taking turns.

How I implement in my classroom:

In my classroom I have chosen to implement phonics during our literacy center stations. The idea is that students rotate in stations through various different word work centers. We use things such as pom-pom spelling, play-doh spelling, magnet spelling and lots of others. During the week the students will rotate through stations several times. We generally rotate through the stations twice a day and I give the students 15 minutes at each station. One of the stations consists of students coming to the rainbow table to work with me. When the students are with me, we go through the lesson of the day from our Sounding Out the Sight Words book. The kids love getting to the play the games and practice the words that they know while also learning new words that fit into that spelling pattern. I have taught phonics for several years as a teacher and this has been the best program I have used. It is simple, effective and I have noticed a huge increase in my students phonemic awareness and word recognition.

If you’re looking for the Logic of English website here it is:

Literacy Resources

In this section of my website I will be uploading various literacy resources that I use within my classroom. I will explain how I set them up, implement them and adapt them to my students needs.  This area will focus specifically on gamification and game-based learning.