Blending is the opposite of segmenting. It is the process of putting isolated sounds together to make a word.
Blending is a the key skill students need to decode words. Many educators use “stretchy the snake” to help students remember this strategy.
Students should be able to blend sounds articulated by the teacher before they are able to make and blend sounds on their own.
To begin blending with cvc words teachers articulate the words by combining the first two sounds: zi—p, fa—t, si—t.
When this is easy for the student, the teacher can move to isolating the first sounds and combining the final chunk: z--ip, f—at, s—it.
Once these two skills are mastered, the student is ready to blend 3 isolated sounds articulated by the teacher. z—i—p, f—a—t, s—i—t.
When students know most letter sounds and can blend 3 isolated sounds, they are ready to decode cvc words using this file.
To add a kinesthetic component, have students hop one hand down the opposite arm --touch their shoulder, elbow and wrist– as the say each sound. Then go back to their shoulder and slide down to say it fast. (Use the strategy in reverse to teach segmenting.)
Blending is easier with words that begin with these sounds because you can smoothly shift from the consonant sound to the vowel sound: f, l, m, n, r, v, z.
I hope this post has given you some valuable information about teaching blending. I am really excited about my new product to use as an intervention for developing blending skills.
I was introduced to this strategy during a fantastic PD course in my first year of teaching. At that point in time I made this:
Which has served me well for the last 10 years. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to share it with anyone. Thanks to the TPT Seller Challenge, I finally got around to creating a digital version!
There are a few sample pages in the preview. This is what each page looks like. You fold it in half to make a self-checking activity.
Please share this information with anyone who might find it useful!
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