Chef vs Magician, Sh Sound Spelling ci, ti, si, Card Games

Pairing up the right lessons with card games has given my struggling readers and spellers a great advantage.

How to teach spelling lessons with fun card games?

Pairing up the right lessons with card games has given my struggling readers and spellers a great advantage.

Education games that students want to play. Over and Over again.

Posters can be used to teach single a lesson or combined into many lessons.

War-style card game Chef VS Magician has colorful images and letters for the many different spellings of /sh/.

© Pure Joy Teaching

The tricky sh sound spelled ci, ti, si, xi, ss, sh, ch, s, c, can now be used as a game.  Students love playing card games like War and Uno.  These 144 cards were made to highlight the tricky “sh” sounds in words and added a point value to the different spellings. Including the French ch = sh, and letters like c and s, in words like ocean and sugar.

“It is a trick?”

Knowing there is a trick is the best way to avoid being tricked by it. This is a fun play on words. Words like ocean, sure, and sugar all have a “sh” sound that we can not see from the spelling clues.

144-Word cards with color-coded /sh/ (many different spellings of the “sh” sound) with single beginning syllable and ending syllables.

You can find it here on TPT . The are many different ways to play. Use the cards for UNO, War, or flash cards. Printing out multiple sets have been extra helpful for me. I work with many different students at different levels. It is easier for me to have the cards grouped into leveled decks ranging from easy to advanced.

The lesson posters can be cast to the TV or smartboard. I like to keep them all bound up in a booklet, it is handy for working with small groups or tutoring students.

We review the spelling lessons and write a few words from the word lists. Some students like to draw mnemonic pictures for different /sh/spellings. Then we play the card game to put reading into practice.

Level one starts with the main spelling of the sh sound, and explains to the students that these are single-syllable words. The next level can be introducing tricky words like: sure, sugar, and ocean. Or moving on to multiple-syllable words and compound words.

Lesson Booklet Option

Binding up the pages created a valuable handy resource for me.

These mnemonic picture-embedded spelling tips have been very helpful. Especially for the very tricky R-controlled Trigraphs.

Have Pure Joy Teaching.

Blessed and defended by an angel Num 22:12

The kids are amazed or laugh at the talking donkey part.   I use a silly voice for the donkey, it is funny.

The book of numbers has a collection of lots of stories.  One of them is commonly known as Balaam’s Donkey.   In my classroom, I have retold this story many times.  The kids are amazed or laugh at the talking donkey part.   I use a silly voice for the donkey, it is funny.   Kids books are filled with stories of talking animals, so the full impact of a talking donkey might be missed by them.    Really, my starting point is that I have retold this story many times.  To my  surprise, I heard some new from it today.   That is one of things that is some exciting about the Bible.  You can reread it over and over, still find something new that jumps out and pulls at your heart or makes you think.

Today that word that jumped out was “Blessed.”

But God said to Balaam, “Do not go with them. You must not put a curse on those people, because they are blessed.”

Numbers 22:12

Let me paint the full picture for you, God said (simply) “do not put a curse on those people, they are blessed (to me).   Then he sends a angel with a sword to defend what he called his blessed ones.

Jesus called us blessed.

 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed;blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”                                   John 20:29

I like the idea of that he can come to the aid of his blessed ones, even good as far as sending an angel with a sword to protect his blessed ones.   That group of Israelites, was less than the perfect group.  They were humans that made lots of bad choices, just like myself.   We are all prone to make mistakes.  It is nice to know that God still comes to our aid, even when are undeserving of it.   Sometimes even sending an angel with a sword, to stop something that is coming our way.

For the full story read Numbers  chapters 22-24.

Bible references from NIV: . (n.d.). Retrieved April 09, 2018, from

Job 31 Briers

Job 31:38-40 (NIV)

38 “if my land cries out against me
    and all its furrows are wet with tears,
39 if I have devoured its yield without payment
    or broken the spirit of its tenants,
40 then let briers come up instead of wheat
    and weeds instead of barley.”

The words of Job are ended.

  • NKJV used the word thistle in places of briers:

40 Then let thistles grow instead of wheat,
And weeds instead of barley.” (NKJV)

Bible Study

There are lots of wonderful moments that I have while reading the Bible. One of those times is when I can hear words used that indicate the person is quoting another part of the bible.  It feels important or special to me, to make that connection.  Just like I am studying scripture now, they also studied, memorized, & read the words of God.

Thorns, Thistles, Briers

I saw a hint of that here in Job, you can tell that Job was  familiar  with the book of Genesis.  The reference to producing thorns & thistle, reminds me of:

Genesis 3:18(NIV)

18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
    and you will eat the plants of the field.

And “land cries out against me”, in verse 38, sounds like the story of Cain.


Genesis 4:10(NIV)

10 The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.

The other neat point about these verses is that Job has just said “Let the Lord Almighty answer me (v35), and then he uses language & terms that reference points of history in Genesis when God was speaking to Adam & Cain. They were guilty of sins, & God spoke to them. Job was asking for honesty, come tell what I have done wrong, if there is anything.  Job is not hiding from God as Adam & Cain tried to do.

Praying His word

This is also a wonderful example of what we often say & hear in Christian circles: “Pray the word of God”.  Job has done just that, he has made that connection.  He prayed, ‘Let the Almighty answer me” and then he quotes samples of times that God has spoken to guilty men on earth.

  • Note also that this is the last statement of Job. Elihu continue speaking for 6 chapters. Then chapter 38 The Lord speaks. Job gets his prayers answered.

How beautiful inspired is the word of God.

Read more topical studies here

Holy Bible: New International Version. (2001). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. All Rights Reserved.
BibleGateway. (n.d.). Retrieved August 09, 2017, from


Bible Journaling Job 31 Study Crown


 Job 31:35-37

35 (“Oh, that I had someone to hear me!

I sign now my defense—let the Almighty answer me;

let my accuser put his indictment in writing.

36 Surely I would wear it on my shoulder,

I would put it on like a crown.

37 I would give him an account of my every step;

I would present it to him as to a ruler.)—

                   Job 31:35-37 New International Version (NIV)

35 Oh, that I had one to hear me!

Here is my mark.

Oh, that the Almighty would answer me,

That my Prosecutor had written a book!

36 Surely I would carry it on my shoulder,

And bind it on me like a crown;

37 I would declare to Him the number of my steps;

Like a prince I would approach Him.

                                                Job 31:35-37 New King James Version (NKJV)

Study Notes

In my clothing topic study, I came across this verse in Job.  It surprised me & created a picture in my mind. Wearing indictments on the shoulder & as a crown, how would that look?

“let my accuser put his indictment in writing.

 Surely I would wear it on my shoulder,”

It made me think of a long written scroll of indictments, maybe flowing like a cape, charges & accusations brought against Job.  Then he said,

“ I would put it on like a crown.”

Wow, not only was he going to wear them on his shoulder, but now he said he would

“put it on like a crown.”

Job is braver then me, I would not be confident to wear all of my accusation proudly and walk towards him.  Mostly cause Job, was more righteous that me.  I fear most of the accusation against me would be true & I would not want them publicly displayed on my shoulder or as a crown.

But then I think of approaching Him, boldly walking towards the throne of grace.

Hebrews 4:16:  Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

I can have confidence, I am forgiven.  I have received mercy and found grace in Him.

Those charges & accusation often sneak in and start to play that same old accusing record in my mind.  Like waves that push me, into old memories of sin & regret. I beg God’s forgiveness.   Then I stop, I remind my self, I am forgiven.  I don’t have to keep begging the Lord to do something he has already done. I have repented & turned towards him.  My mind set needs to be changed to praise.


“Thank you Lord, that you have forgiven me.  Thank you Lord, that you care for me. Thank you Lord that you have blotted out my transgressions.”   (Ps 51:1)  Thank you that you are creating in me a pure heart, (Ps 51:1;10). Thank you Lord, that I am the woman of Luke 7, the one who had the bigger debit. (v 43)

Luke 7:47-48 (NIV)

47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

Responsible fix-it nature

I want to say that again, another way because as women we tend to take things on as ours. We are the mothers, caregivers, the responsible party trying fix things, the peace keepers of the family. Sometimes that responsible fix-it nature turns inward on us, and we forget to turn to God. We need to be careful that the weight on our shoulder is not a heavy baggage of guilt that we write for ourselves & willing carry it because we feel unforgivable.

At bible study a few months ago this same topic came up:  our mind flipping that switch that lists our transgression and it beats at us.  The group was reminded,  “we need to take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Cor.10:5) For me that personal means when those thoughts start to play in my mind & I hear my self saying “ God forgive me.”  I need to change that to thankfulness.

Thankfulness & Praise

I have to change it to praise, say “Thank you God! That you have forgiven me.”  He has forgiven me already.  I was glad that other women in the room agreed and she needed to hear that reminder too.  We all do at times ladies.

2 Corinthians 10:5 – We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

pure joy teaching

The Way of Wisdom

Proverbs 4:11 ...

Comparing Water Soluble Crayons to Colored Pencils

Comparing Colored Pencils to Water Soluble ...
Job 31

Job 31 Briers

Job 31:38-40 (NIV) 38 “if my land cries ...
Jobs crown bible study

Bible Journaling Job 31 Study Crown

 Job 31:35-37 35 (“Oh, that I ...
small art supply case

Small Bible Journaling Travel Case

Small Supply Case This was the ...
ps 93 4 Bible journaling

Psalms 93:4 Bible Journaling

Psalms 93:3-4 3The seas have lifted up, Lord, ...

Romans 15:13 View of back page

I was so excited to creat ...

Bible Quotations from:

BibleGateway. (n.d.). Retrieved August 07, 2017, from