Blending Made Easy!

When we are asking our students to decode a CVC word we are asking them to first recall the sound correspondence for the letters, hold those individual sounds in their memory, then go back to blend the sounds together.

 So not only are we asking them to blend, we are asking them to remember each sound. 

This could be a little much for our beginning readers; it is especially difficult for students with ADD or memory issues.
Isabel Beck, author of  Making Sense of Phonics: The Hows and Whys, explains how to do successive blending so they do not need to hold more than 2 sounds together in their memory at a time.

Sequence for blending.
1.Place the letter cards n” “e” and “t” separated in a pocket chart or on table
2.Point to the “n” and say /n/                                             
3.Point to the “e” and say /e/
4.Physically slide the “e” over to the “n”
5.Slide finger along the “ne” and say /ne/
6.Point to the “t” and say /t/
7.Move the “t” card next to the “ne” to make the word “net”
8.Slide finger under “net” and say “net” slowly
9.Read the word naturally

Once we read the word, we spell the words.  Sometimes I have to say, "Spelling means we say the letter names."
Hopefully, the student will then reply, " n   e   t."

I am not sure if the movement of the letters actually helps the
students remember, but I have found that if we use this process... reading seems to happen quickly!
Then we practice, practice, practice with a lot of fun games!

Give it a try!  I hope it works as well for you as it did for me!


  1. Great blog post, thanks for sharing this info :)

    Teaching Autism

  2. The "sliding the letters together" method works so well for my own kids. Great advice.

  3. Thanks so much for sharing! I'll definitely try this out :) Blending letters together has been helpful for my kiddos so I think they'll benefit from sliding the letters too!

  4. We use a blending board for Orton Gillingham instruction. We slide our hand across the top of the letters but I want to try it this way as well. Thanks for the suggestion!

    1. Thanks! I will have to check out Orton Gillingham.

  5. Sometimes we are so used to naturally saying a word, we can forget our students need to see the word in action.Thank you!