What are SWAP and FIX?

SWAP and FIX are boxed card games suitable for 2 to 4 players. Each game is a pack of 42 word cards, 8 SWAP/FIX cards and a word list. There are 3, 4, 5 or 6 suits (word families or prefix/suffix types) in each pack (details are given on the next page). The cards are colourful but uncluttered - each suit, or letter string, is a different colour.

SWAP and FIX are essentially reading games which can be played with any helping adult or by a group in the classroom. When played with the teacher, the games are excellent for introducing and reinforcing a spelling family/rule.

The games are designed to be flexible and the words are carefully selected so that either whole families or individual words can be withdrawn without spoiling the game. The games can thus be tailored to the needs of the students. They have been used successfully from age 5 to adult.

There are currently 35 different SWAP games and 7 different FIX games.

 

 

How do you play SWAP and FIX?

The rules are printed on the back of every game box but in brief: A player tries to place a card of a matching suit on top of the card placed by the previous player - the objective simply being to play all of his cards. To ensure that learning is effective, the player must say the word as it is played or name the letter string when changing suit. The SWAP/FIX cards allow players to change the suit.

The games can be played with the cards in the hand or the players can lay the cards, face up and arranged in suits, on the table. The latter is the easiest way to introduce a new player while the experienced players enjoy the increased tactical opportunities.


Do they work?

The power of the games lies in the vital multi-sensory elements - seeing, saying and hearing the words and letter strings.

The students' desire to win will spur them on to success and they will be barely aware that they are involved in a learning process - to steer themselves to victory they must be able to read the words and recognise to which word family/prefix/suffix they belong. The games allow endless repetition in an acceptable form.

The simple rule structure puts the game in line with the best tactical games. The less able will follow its basic structure and rely purely upon chance while more able players will invent tactical game plans. In all cases the overriding element of chance provides a levelling factor. You can be assured that the students will find their own approach!

Above all .... they are FUN!