Teaching decoding can be a challenging task, especially when working with young learners with reading disabilities. However, incorporating fun and interactive activities into your teaching can make the process both enjoyable and effective. One way you can do this is bingo.
Yes, you heard it right! Bingo can be a fun and easy way to teach decoding and improve reading skills. This game is so versatile because it can work with any level. By using bingo, you can create an engaging and exciting learning experience that will leave a lasting impression on your students. In this post, we will explore the benefits of using bingo to teach decoding and provide tips on how to implement this activity into your lesson plans. Get ready to bring some fun and excitement into your classroom!
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In “How to make teaching decoding fun and easy with bingo,” we will chat about:
- Understanding decoding in reading
- The importance of making decoding fun and engaging
- The benefits of using bingo for teaching decoding
- How to create a decoding bingo game
- Resources for finding decoding bingo
- Other fun and effective decoding activities to try
Understanding decoding in reading
Decoding is the process of looking at written letters, knowing the sounds, and being able to translate it into oral language. You are decoding right now as you read this page! It is the process of recognizing the individual sounds and blending those sounds together to form words. Decoding is an essential skill for young learners as it is the foundation for reading fluency and comprehension. Without a solid foundation in decoding, students will struggle with reading and may fall behind their peers.
As a special education teacher, I mainly work with students who have weak decoding skills. They do not have the knowledge of the sounds or the ability to blend those sounds together easily. Without these decoding skills, reading is incredibly challenging. Have you ever worked with a student who struggles to sound out every single word? We have some assessments like fluency benchmarks that I am still required to give my students even though I know they do not have the skills necessary to meet the benchmark. Listening to a student struggle to sound out every word of a 2nd grade level passage can be very discouraging. Students need to learn the rules behind the sound patterns that make up our language.
Teaching decoding requires patience, persistence, and creativity. It is essential to provide students with a variety of activities that will keep them engaged and motivated. Research-based programs should make up the bulk of your instruction, but if you only read from word lists all year, your students may just end up falling asleep!
The importance of making decoding fun and engaging
Teaching decoding is definitely not easy! I also wouldn’t exactly call teaching decoding fun. Students can become easily frustrated and disengaged if the process is not fun and interactive. We have to spice up our instruction every once in a while to keep them awake.
When students are engaged and motivated, they are more likely to retain the information being taught. By making decoding fun and engaging, students are more likely to practice the skill and develop fluency. Fluency is essential for comprehension as it allows students to focus their attention on understanding the meaning of the text rather than struggling to decode individual words.
The benefits of using bingo for teaching decoding
Bingo is such a great game that can be adapted to fit any level of decoding proficiency, making it an ideal tool for teachers of all grades. Don’t you remember how exciting playing games like bingo was when you were in elementary school? While Seesaw activities, breakouts, and Kahoots are super trendy right now, it is good to get back to the basics every now and then.
Bingo can be adapted to teach a variety of decoding skills, from letter recognition to blending sounds together to form words. By using bingo to teach decoding, you can provide students with a fun and interactive way to practice their skills. Bingo can also be used to differentiate instruction, allowing you to provide students with the level of challenge that is appropriate for their needs. Adding pictures can support students who are struggling with decoding. If used in small groups, you could change the level based on that group’s unique target areas.
How to create a decoding bingo game
Creating a decoding bingo game is a simple process that can be done using a variety of materials. The first step is to determine the decoding skill that you want to target. For example, if you want to target letter recognition, you would create bingo cards with letters instead of numbers.
Next, you will need to create bingo cards for your students. You can either create your own cards using a template or use pre-made cards that are available online like these ones. It is important to ensure that each card is unique to prevent students from winning at the same time.
You can create bingo cards on Google Docs, Powerpoint, Canva or wherever you like to create. If you are making a 5 by 5 grid, you will want a list of 25-35 words to use for your bingo cards. Then, randomly place words on spaces. You could even give your students a blank 5 by 5 grid and have them place their own words! This would save you time and would give them even more practice with these words.
Don’t forget to save your original list of words so that you know which words to call out. For quicker games, only have as many words as spaces. Using a larger list of words will make the game last longer as students may not have every word called on their unique bingo card.
To play the game, students will place a mark on their bingo card when a word is called out. You decide how the game is won. You could play for 5 in a row, four corners, X, or any variety you choose!
Resources for finding decoding bingo templates and materials
There are many resources available online for finding decoding bingo templates and materials. When choosing a resource, it is important to ensure that the materials are appropriate for your students’ needs and skill level. It is also important to check for accuracy and to ensure that the materials align with your scope and sequence
If you are looking for science of reading games, check out these bingo levels:
- CVC words
- Bonus letters
- An, Am, All
- Suffix S
- NG NK Glued Sounds
- Consonant Blend
- Closed Exception
- 3 Letter Blend
- Multisyllabic Words
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Other fun and effective decoding activities to try
While bingo is a fun and effective way to teach decoding, it is not the only activity that can be used. There are many other fun and effective science of reading games to try, including:
– Word stamping: Provide students with a set of letter stamps and have them create words by blending sounds together.
– Decoding memory: Create a set of cards with decodable words and have students play memory to reinforce decoding skills. If you use Wilson Reading System, those little colored cards are perfect for this game!
– Word searches: Need a quiet independent activity? Grab a set of word searches like these to occupy your students for a few minutes. You would be amazed at how engaged your students are all while they are really practicing blending sounds.
– Decoding races: Have students compete in decoding races to see who can decode a set of words the fastest.
Overall, teaching decoding can be a challenging task, but by incorporating fun and interactive activities into your teaching, you can make the process both enjoyable and effective. Bingo is just one of the many activities that can be used to teach decoding and improve reading skills.
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