1st grade 1st Grade Language arts FREE Printables Language Arts Phonics

5-in-a-Row Phonics ir Words Game – Learning R Controlled Vowels

As your grade 1 students learns phonics they will run into r-controlled vowels.  The concept of the bossy r can be tricky and take some time for 1st graders to master. To master these phonics ir words, we created a fun phonics game to make practicing fun. Simply print the ir phonics words to play 5-in-a-row Phonics game to play and learn!

As your grade 1 students learns phonics they will run into r-controlled vowels.  The concept of the bossy r can be tricky and take some time for 1st graders to master. To master these phonics ir words, we created a fun phonics game to make practicing fun. Simply print the ir phonics words to play 5-in-a-row Phonics game to play and learn!

Phonics ir Words

This low prep ir game is a great way to get children reading r-controlled vowels. I don’t know who decided this, but I wish those that wrote out the English language would have made it a little easier for our little readers. Why do we have to have so many ways of spelling the same sound?

Sometimes it is easy. If you hear the /oy/ sound in the middle of the word, you use /oi/. If it is at the end of a word or syllable, we use /oy/. But then we have these pesky r-controlled vowels.  Without any rules to help our little readers, you have three ways of making the /er/ sound.

We can use /er/ to make words like in fern or helper. But did you know we can also use /ur/ to make the exact same sound. Yep, you can use that /ur/ to create words like blur or scurry. And we can not leave out the /ir/. It also makes the /er/ sound. Words like bird, whirl, and confirm use the /ir/ to make the exact same sound.

With all these different ways of spelling /er/, we have to give our little ones lots of opportunities to see how these words are spelled and read them. And that is what this ir game is all about.

ir phonics words

Start by scrolling to the bottom of the post, under the terms of use, and click on the text link that says >> _____ <<. The r controlled vowel words pdf file will open in a new window for you to save the freebie and print the many apple worksheet preschool.  

R-controlled vowel

ir Phonics sound

This game is super simple to prepare. Simply print off the pages, and grab two Do-A-Dot Markers. If you wish to re-use the game, laminate the pages for durabilityand use two maniuplitives that are two different colors.

r Controlled vowel activity

R-controlled vowel

There are five game boards to choose from. The first game board has simple /ir/ words. Most of them are three to five letters, and all of them are one-syllable words.

The last game board moves into two-syllable words, to give your kiddos more of a challenge.

The game is easy to play.

  1. Player one choose a place to go, reads the word, and then places their manipultive or dots it with a do-a dot-marker.
  2. Player two does the same thing. Decides where they want to go, reads the word, and then covers it up.
  3. The players take turns reading and dotting trying to get five dots in a row. They can be up and down, across, or even horizontal. And it may be important to remind our little ones, that they can block their opponets to keep them from getting that five dots in a row.
  4. The frist person that succeeds in having make that row or column of five wins the game.

ir phonics words

Bossy r

It’s that simple. Our kiddos get to read /ir/ words while playing a game. And in the process, begin to develop a schema for when to use /ir/ when spelling that pesky /er/ sound.

As your kindergarten, first grade, and 2nd grade continue working on phonics skills to improve reading and spelling they will encounter the bossy r. These bossy r worksheets are simple, free printable cut and paste worksheets that are a great way for kids to practice listening for bossy r in words. Simply print pdf file with r controlled vowels worksheets and you are ready to learn with r controlled worksheets. This fun phonics game allows children to work on r controlled vowels while having fun. This car printable helps kids learn the r controlled vowels /ar/. Use this phonics ar words game with first grade and 2nd graders to improve reading and writing the ar sounds words. Simply print the pdf file with  bossry r game for a phonics activity for 1st graders.  Help kids practice phonics or words with this fun, hands-on phonics games for 1st grade. In this tic-tac-toe game, kindergarten and first grader will practice reading or words to improve phonics skills. Simply print the r-controlled vowel printable activity and you are ready to play and learn!

r Controlled vowel activity

Vowel Puzzles FREE Missing Vowels Clip Cards - Help kids fill in the missing letters and practice phonics with Missing Vowels Clip Cards - a fun, hands-on learning activity for prek & kindergartners. These super cute sliders are a fun, effecitve way for first grade and 2nd grade students to learn irregular vowels. Children will have fun with this clever irregular verb activity and parents will love all the irregular verbs practice. Simply print pdf file with irregular verb game and you are ready to play and learn long o followed by ld, lt, and st as well as long o followed by nd and ld.

Vowels Printables

looking for more fun vowel activities and resources to make learning to read and spell words fun? Check these out!


 100 Books for 1st Graders to Read on their own (arranged by reading level) - includes FREE printable book list to print and take to the library and use as book mark. lots of great choices of printable and books!!! Perfect for summer reading and year round first grade book list! #1stgrade #firstgrade #booklists FREE 1st Grade Spelling Words WORD SEARCHES - these free printable word searches will help kids practice first grade most commonly used words #spellingwords #1stgrade #wordsearches digraph board game FREE L blends Worksheets - Kids will have fun learning to listen for blends in words and spelling with these free printable l blends worksheets for kindergarten, first grade, and 2nd grade students.

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1st Grade Science

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Grade 1 Science

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As your grade 1 students learns phonics they will run into r-controlled vowels.  The concept of the bossy r can be tricky and take some time for 1st graders to master. To master these phonics ir words, we created a fun phonics game to make practicing fun. Simply print the ir phonics words to play 5-in-a-row Phonics game to play and learn!

Controlled r

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>> ir Words Game <<

About the author


Rachel is a homeschool mom to four little ones, ages 2 to 6. She is a former public elementary teacher, and has recently began blogging at her page You’ve Got This.

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