Friday, February 5, 2016

Consonant Blends

Hi everyone! Happy almost weekend. :) Sarah here, from Sarah's Snippets. Today I thought I'd talk about how I teach consonant blends. Consonant blends are always a challenge for my struggling readers. We usually spend a lot of time on them! Since I started working as the reading resource teacher at my school, I have been making more and more resources to allow for more practice for my students.

Step 1:Building consonant blends and words using letter tiles
When I introduce consonant blends, I usually start with the letter tiles. I build several different consonant blends and model how to read them. I compare them to digraphs by showing them how consonant blends have the two blue tiles, each making a different sound while the digraphs are just one tile because they are two letters that make one sound.  

Next I build words. I model how to "chunk" the word to accurately sound it out. I read, they read.  After several words, I pull back and let them read the words first. After reading several words, they get their own boards with tiles and I say a word for them to build. We practice listening for the blend first to make sure we don't miss a sound. If you don't want to hastle with all those letter tiles, Whizzimo is a great app to use. 

You don't have to be fancy though! You can use regular notecards as letter tiles. :)

Step 2: Printable Intervention Books
After a few days of reading, building, and manipulating words with blends, we are ready to move on to our blend books. My students love getting these books! They each get their own during small group instruction. I love it for planning purposes. It's all ready to go to use with multiple groups. 

Step 3: Building and reading sentences
For sentence fluency, my students love using this Sentence Spin. Sometimes it makes silly sentences and sometimes it makes real sentences. Either way, they are reading words with consonant blends. I also use it as a mini-comprehension activity. Beginning and struggling readers often end up sounding out words but not thinking about what is being read. When using this activity, I always ask, "Who is the sentence about? What is the character doing?" Sometimes I ask them to describe what they are visualizing. 

You could also make your own using sentence strips. :)

Last step: Increase fluency with short stories. 

There are tons of resources out there to choose from. For the first year I ended up writing short stories on the fly. I'd write them on chart paper so we could practice them together as a shared reading experience. 

I still do that, but now I also use these story cards that I laminate. My students love to use dry erase pens to interact with the story. I also have a printable version to send home as homework. 

To see more pictures and get links to all of these resources, come visit my blog. :)