Friday, February 5, 2016

Consonant Blends

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. (More about that app next week!) You can find these letter tiles in my Tutoring Toolkit and/or my short vowel packs. 

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. 

This unit is packed with activities, giving your students plenty of much needed practice reading and spelling words. You wouldn't need to use every single page in your blend book, but it's nice to have options. Some groups may only need a handful of pages, while others might go through the entire thing before mastering the skill of reading and spelling blends. 

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. 

Step 4: Increase fluency with short stories
 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 mix in these story cards too!

Now for my newest resource

 A few months ago, I blogged about my short vowel and long vowel story cards. For some reason, the blend cards took longer to finish! 

There are 20 stories total, all phonetic with a  focus on consonant blends. There are also 4 different versions of these stories:
~There are the original story cards to laminate
~An easier version of the story cards to allow for differentiation
~A printable version with comprehension questions 
~No-color story cards 

I use these cards in my reading groups. The kids love being able to use dry erase markers to interact more with the stories. 

The printable version is nice to use if you wanting to use it with your whole class or send home as a homework assignment.

I also use these mini graphic organizers with the story cards in my small groups.

In case you don't like to print any color, there is also a no-color option. I printed them on bright paper, but you could also print them on white card stock. :)