Tryphena does phonics recitation with all the other kids in my class.
My kid’s teacher said my child
knows his phonics well and I’ve seen him recognize letters and their sounds as well.
I need to think of
other fun ways to teach blending to my pupils.
If you’ve been teaching reading for a while, you’ve undoubtedly come across the term ‘blending’, if you
have not, don’t worry! Keep on reading.
Here, you’ll get step-by-step proven exercise to help your students or children to learn how to blend
Now, let’s define blending.
Blending is the process of joining 2 or more sounds to produce them as a word. For example, you say
/b/ /a/ /g/, and your child or student says “bag.”
Blending is also the ability to recognize and decode the sounds that make up a written word, join the
sounds together, and sound them out. For example: when a child sees the word “pat”, he breaks the
words into sounds: /p/ /a/ /t/, blends /p/, /a/, and /t/ together and pronounces the word ‘pat.’
You’ve probably got some questions like: “What’s the best approach to teach blending to students?
Should I be scared that my 5-year-old can’t decode sounds, blend them, and read text yet?” In fact, one
question teachers ask a lot is: “How do I teach blending with the BEM Foundational Skills Set?”
Practise this exercise in 10 minutes daily to help your student overcome the blending challenge and
achieve blending success:
Before you jump on this exercise, however, your child or student must have been taught phonics and
That moment you ask your child or student to read a word (e.g. ham), to blend and read this word, your
child must be able to:
- recognize the letters in the word (h, a, m)
- know how each letter that occurs in the word sounds
- know how to read the sounds left-to-right
- remember all the 3 sounds that occur in the word and say them quickly so as not to be
distracted from blending the sounds together.
You may think: Oh! It’s easy. Well, that’s because we’re adults. Imagine getting a text written in Chinese
and someone keeps screaming at you to just read it. Get that?
Make blending FUN for your child. Let me share a secret with you! Research on brain development and
learning has shown that a child learns anything easier when it is mixed with PLEASURE. This secret
should cause you change your teaching style.
- Do lots of Phonemic Awareness activities. Asking children to identify the first, middle or last sounds
in sentences would increase their phonemic awareness. Basically, Nursery rhymes and poems are great
for phonemic awareness warmup.
- During your reading time, pick out simple words and break them into sounds (segmenting). Always
point to the letter you are sounding out and gently glide to another letter you are sounding out next.
- Practice this simple exercise with your student or child to overcome blending challenges and achieve
- Get a whiteboard or cardboard.
- Write simple words on the board, e.g., a CVC word like ‘sat’.
- Let your student or child blend the sounds of the first two letters /sa/.
- Let them pronounce the last letter and blend it with the first two letters.
- Blend often (I repeat, do this often)
- Let your student or child write the word and sound out each letter as they write (Skip this if
your child or student cannot write yet).
- Let your student or child erase each letter after they sound it out.
- Switch sounds in a word to form a new word e.g. Switch /h/ for /b/ in ‘bat’ to form ‘hat.’
In this exercise, please, do not pronounce the names of the letters, only pronounce the sounds. Saying
letter names will interfere with a child’s word-identification learning.
What do you think of this exercise? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. Thank you for
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