My early readers simply read each sound individually, and then blend them together. By starting with a simple vowel board I can really use this game to isolate what sounds they are having trouble with, and whether or not they are able to identify where the beginning and ending sounds are.
My more advanced decoders read the word and also use it in a sentence. This allows me to see if they understand the words they are reading and it also helps with building vocabulary too. For example hem, pep and fib are always new words they have not heard before. I use these trickier words in a sentence and then they try it out in their own sentence. ("Oh no, the hem on my shirt is ripped!!") My ELL students and I even act out some of the words. When we landed on "dim" I showed them how to dim the lights on my macbook. I am always amazed at how quickly they remember these new words and what they mean, even when we have not played the game for awhile!
The patterns in these games are Erin Bradley Designs Colorful Polka Dots and Stripes Digital Papers. I absolutely love these!
CVC Games featuring Short Vowels is available in my TpT and Teachers Notebook shops!
Have a great Saturday!