This phonics guided reading game, Pop The Balloon!, is a fun way to keep your students engaged and learning in guided reading. This game was designed to meet all your learners with a quick daily warm-up of their phonics skills. You can quickly assess and check in with your students and what phonics skills they have retained as well as how they apply those phonics skills within words. There are 6 sounds or words on most cards.
If you are interested in learning more about how I use and implement this game in my guided reading routine, you can visit my blog to read my post The Best Way To Start Guided Reading. This post details how I use the game in my classroom within the first five minutes of guided reading and how it was a game changer with my small groups.
INTERESTED IN HOW TO PLAY?
Each student in your small group will have a card. Students start at the bottom of the card and read the sounds/words up to the top of the card. My students like to then clap and say "POP!" and then they get another card. I use this time to check in with each student and listen to them read at least one card. I spend the first 5 minutes of guided reading with this game.
WHAT'S PHONICS SKILLS ARE INCLUDED:
Pop The Balloon! Short Vowel Edition- 66 cards are included with phonics skills isolated and with phonics skills within words
Short A Skills:
a, ab, ack, ad, ag, am, an, ap, at
Short E Skills:
e, ed, ell, em, en, est, et
Short I Skills:
i, ick, id, ig, ill, I'm, in, ip, it
Short O Skills:
o, ob, ock, og, ong, op, oss, ot
Short U Skills:
u, ub, uck, ug, un, unk, um, ut
Pop The Vowel! Long Vowel Edition- 76 cards are included with phonics skills isolated and with phonics skills within words
Long A Skills:
a_e, ai, ay, ake, ale, ame, ail, age
Long E Skills:
ee, ea, ie, y, ead, eak, eal, eam, ean, eap, ear, east
Long I Skills:
i_e, igh, ie, ine, ight, ite, ice, ike
Long O Skills:
oa, oat, o_e, oe, ow, obe, ode, oke, one, ope
Long U Skills:
u_e, ue, ew, ude, ume, une, ute
Pop The Balloon! Blends Cards- 33 cards are included with phonics skills isolated and with phonics skills within words
bl, cl, fl, gl, pl, sl
br, cr, fr, gr, pr, tr
sc, sk, sn, sp, st, sw
-All letters of the alphabet are included! These are great for your beginning readers to practice identifying letters and letter sounds. There are 33 cards included.
Pop The Balloon! Segmenting Diphthongs Cards- 33 cards are included with phonics skills isolated and with phonics skills within words
Pop The Balloon! Segmenting Trigraphs Cards- 27 cards are included with phonics skills isolated and with phonics skills within words
Pop The Balloon! Segmenting R-Controlled Vowels Cards- 33 cards are included with phonics skills isolated and with phonics skills within words
Pop The Balloon! Segmenting Digraphs Cards- 33 cards are included with phonics skills isolated and with phonics skills within words
-CH- Beginning Sound
-CH- Ending Sound
-SH- Beginning Sound
-SH- Ending Sound
-TH- Beginning Sound
-TH- Ending sound
HOW DOES IT HELP STUDENTS?
By beginning your guided reading groups this way each time, students are gaining confidence with the exposure and repetition of their phonics skills. You can differentiate guided reading groups by using the set of cards and skills they need. This no-fuss game is visually appealing, simple yet effective to play, and you will enjoy hearing your students cheer every time you pull it out. Mine cheer! Really!
HOW ELSE CAN THIS BE USED?
To add some flair to your game, try adding the Target mini erasers. Each time a sound/word is read, students add an eraser to the word. You can also put these out for early finishers to practice quietly at their seats.
Related Guided Reading Resources to Support Your Classroom: