Our core curriculum requires daily quick checks to make sure students are acquiring the phonics skill and knowledge necessary to be independent readers. A list of words is given and students are called on to blend and read individual words. To fulfill this requirement, and to lower the anxiety, we play Coin Flip. We form teams. Currently our teams are The Girls and The Boys. Students are given 3 or 4 minutes to study the list and help their teammates. Then, the game begins. We have a coin that was given to us by a retired submarine captain. One side of the coin has a mountain and the other has soldiers. The teams are assigned a side of the coin, raised hands from each team go up, and we flip the coin. Students get a point for each word they blend correctly. Each sound is required then the word. We keep a running score for each six-week unit. At the end of the unit we name a champion. We are in the sixth week of a unit and the score is tied 55-55. Now that's FUN! Don't tell anyone.