Using UpWords in the Classroom

UpWords is one of my classroom necessities! Actually I will be honest, I really have two sets of this game because I use it so much! The above version is a much adored childhood toy (which is now well loved by my students!)  I bought a newer version with red tiles which are a bit smaller. And while I am being honest I will confess, my tiles did not look like that when I first set out to take the picture, they were wicked messy! So I may have done this:
 just so I could get a better picture! ;)

I use these a lot with early decoders. I like how they stack up so they can see the letters and words changing each time. The tiles are so easily adaptable which is the best part!
Well for me it is - but my students prefer watching the towers grow! It really holds their attention when they wait for their turn.

I love how easy it is to differentiate for each student in my group when I use these. I keep them alphabetized in a bead box so they are ready to go! I can just grab the letters from our lesson that day, or whatever they need a bit more practice with. They can be used for simple cvc words, vowel teams, blends...basically anything - they just rock!

I mostly use these at the end of reading groups and Intervention when I have just a few more minutes. It saves me having to cut out those paper letters many of the reading programs call for - I hate the paper waste that comes with those too! That is why having two sets come in handy, I can leave them wherever I need them!

I have Scrabble tiles that I have used in the past but I like how these pieces lock into each other. If I go just one day without using these my students are begging to use them again!

Do any of you use Scrabble tiles or UpWords tiles with your students? Or do you have something you like better? If so, leave me note in the comments!

Have a great weekend!


  1. What a great idea. I like the way that they can stack the letters on top of each other to make a new word. I will have to go raid some yard sales for used UpWords games.

    Mr. Michelbook's Classroom

  2. Thanks! I got my second set at Target for about $7.00, not as good as yard sale prices though!