Best Bet Train Cards

Best Bet Train Cards

BestBetTrainCardsThis download contains a set of 25 spelling aid posters/cards to be displayed on classroom walls and referred to during phonics, spelling and writing sessions. The engine (ie the beginning &middle of the train) shows the best bets when representing a particular phoneme at the beginning/in the middle of a word eg on the /j/ train shown, 'j' is  most commonly used in this position (ie. it is the best bet), so it shows as the larger grapheme. 'g' is often used before 'e', 'i' and 'y', but is used less frequently at the beginning/middle of a word, so is written smaller and in brackets on the train. The goods' wagon at the end of the train shows the best bets when representing that phoneme at the end of a word eg on the train shown 'dge' is the best bet after a short vowel and 'ge' after anything else. The trains should be printed onto A4 card and cut in half, so there is just 1 train on each.

The files are in PDF format.

NB: 22 of these cards are included in the Phase 5c planning and resources downloads and the other 3 (containing rarer graphemes) in the Phase 6+ planning, so there is not need to purchase them separately if you have those resources.

'As a Year 1 class teacher I have been using the ‘best-bet trains’ in my daily whole class phonic teaching, as well as in shared and guided writing.  I have found them an invaluable tool in helping support children in choosing the ‘best bet’ for representing a phoneme in initial, medial and final positions in words.  They are displayed in the classroom as a quick reference point that is highly visual for children to use.  They can also be used at tables in guided writing to scaffold ‘best bet’ choices.'

Possible Uses:

  • After a whole class spelling investigation into representations of a particular phoneme in initial, medial and final position, introduce the appropriate train card to summarise the learning. Display on the wall for use in subsequent phonics, spelling and writing sessions.
  • Laminate the individual train cards and treasury tag them together to make a table top resource, suitable for guided work.
  • Perfect for use at Phase 5c of Letters and Sounds, which focuses on best bets.

NB: The Best Bet train cards were updated in the second half of the Autumn Term 2021. All schools who have purchased the previous versions of the cards (from 2010 onwards) are entitled to a free copy of the updated cards if proof of purchase can be provided. Please contact me to take up this offer.

Best Bet Investigations

Best Bet Word Sort  igh Make it easy for your class to discover the 'best bet' spelling rules (ie. when to use particular graphemes to represent a phoneme), using these ready made investigations.

Each of the 25 slides in the accompanying Smart Notebook file provides a ‘best bet’ spelling investigation. Teachers' notes explain how to carry these out in order to generate the rules children will need to support their spelling choices.

Your findings should be recorded and displayed on the classroom wall to refer to during subsequent phonics/shared writing sessions. Best Bet Train Cards can be purchased above for this purpose.

NB: You will need Smart Notebook 11 or later to open this file. A free version of this Software may be available from Smarttech, but you should check this out before purchasing.