These blend sliders are super easy to make and your students will love using them to practice blending sounds together to form words. This activity gets kids to focus on each letter in the word, and works great for practicing Consonant-Vowel-Consonant (CVC) words. What I love most about them is that you can use them with any word list that has phonetic words. When I say phonetic words I mean words that are read as they sound. You can use them during phonics lessons, guided reading groups, reading interventions or as an independent activity. They also can be sent home for students to use for extra practice with their parents.
Why Teach Blending
When students first learn to read phonetically they usually start by segmenting words. This means that they make each sound separately. The next step is to blend the sounds together to form the word. Blending is an important skill for beginner readers to learn. Students who master the technique of blending are able to read more fluently, because they no longer need to segment each sound separately.
Words to Avoid
When using the blend sliders, you'll want to use words that can be easily read by making the sounds of each letter in the word. You'll want to avoid tricky words with digraphs, vowel teams, double consonants and the magic e.
Digraphs: Digraphs are are two letters that make one sound. For example, ch, gn, sh, th, ph and wh. If students are only able to see the digraphs one letter at a time they might make a sound for each letter instead.
Double Consonants: Double consonants are two letters usually at the end of a word that make one sound. For example the ll in bell. If students are only able to see these letters one at a time they might make the sound twice resulting in confusion.
Vowel Teams: Words with vowel teams usually make specific vowel sounds based on the team. If students are only able to see the letters one at a time they might make a vowel sound for each vowel resulting in a confusing combination of sounds.
Magic e: Words with the magic e at the end don't work well because it's important for students to see the magic e before they read the word. The magic e at the end cutes them in that the vowel will make a long vowel sound. If they aren't able to see the magic e they might make a short vowel sound.
flashcards or cards and a marker to make your own
1. Cut off the end of the envelope
2. Put a flashcard in the envelope
3. Slide it out slowly while making the sound for each letter.