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nilanjan

How to teach consonant blends

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I am not using Ordinary Parent's guide...   

In a program that I am using, consonant blends are introduced without specific rules.  I see another program online which shows specific rules for consonant blends.  

 

Do you need to call out rules for consonant blends?

 

I am referring to blends such as pl in plan, cl in clap

 

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It probably depends on your child.

Many children learn to cope with blends without learning specific rules for them (to be honest, I'm not even sure what those rules would be--I certainly never learned any...)

But some children might well need more coaching, and a specific rule might help them.

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It probably depends on your child.

Many children learn to cope with blends without learning specific rules for them (to be honest, I'm not even sure what those rules would be--I certainly never learned any...)

But some children might well need more coaching, and a specific rule might help them.

 

What I meant is should I tell the kids, '...we will now learn consonant blends...'

When you see patterns such as 'pl', 'bl', etc., we want to pronounce them as one unit rather than p..l

 

Is there value in recognizing consonant blends.

 

btw, I am just thinking loud...not sure myself

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No need to be technical about it. Demonstrate, and if they don't pick it up in fairly short order, give it a month or two and try again.

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What I meant is should I tell the kids, '...we will now learn consonant blends...'

When you see patterns such as 'pl', 'bl', etc., we want to pronounce them as one unit rather than p..l

 

Is there value in recognizing consonant blends.

 

btw, I am just thinking loud...not sure myself

 

I think you may be overthinking it.  We never discussed "one unit" for basic consonant blends.  My fifth emerging reader sounds out "pl" the same way he sounds out "op" and then blends it all together for "plop".

 

(I do not consider myself a phonics expert.  Just someone who has managed to get 5 kids to read, usually by playing fast and loose with phonics-based programs.)

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Some kids do better with recognizing the consonant blends for purposes of fluency and spelling, as well as later on syllable decoding. they are fairly easy as long as there are no reading/hearing problems. If you use phonogram flash cards they may be incorporated.

 

I taught blends to my dyslexic DS but we stopped review fairly quickly as they are easy. I reminded him of them when we covered syllables with VCCCV or VCCCCV patterns. Knowing them can make reading larger multisyllabic words easier.

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We never explicitly taught rules for it.  A hard consonant comes before a long consonant - that's about all I can think of for a rule.  Most kids will just pick up on it and read it together if you haven't taught phonics badly (like saying 'puh' for 'p'). 

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We are using Ordinary Parents Guide and my daughter just sounds them out. We've gone over what they are and she can tell me what "st" says, but when she's sounding out new words she still goes /s/ /t/ /o/ /p/. I haven't pushed it. We do the review and I do go over what the consonant blends say, but I honestly feel like I could do without teaching them. My daughter just reads the words as she would any other word.

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What I meant is should I tell the kids, '...we will now learn consonant blends...'

When you see patterns such as 'pl', 'bl', etc., we want to pronounce them as one unit rather than p..l

 

Is there value in recognizing consonant blends.

 

btw, I am just thinking loud...not sure myself

 

 

I think it is too laborious to do that with every blend pattern in English.

 

No.

 

Just uncover one sound of a word at a time and teach the child HOW to blend.  That is a skill that will reap a reward over and over again.

 

 

There are a few consonant blends that tend to follow a long vowel sound, and those I teach.  Kind, find, wind/wind, cold, told, etc...  Otherwise, the skill is blending in and of itself.  I spend the whole Kindy year just really hammering that SKILL home.  Once they are blending, the rest comes along quickly.

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I think it is too laborious to do that with every blend pattern in English.

 

No.

 

Just uncover one sound of a word at a time and teach the child HOW to blend.  That is a skill that will reap a reward over and over again.

 

My kids have poor phonemic processing skills, and making the jump from blending CVC words to blending CCVC words was non-trivial.  Just as it took a *lot* of work for them to be able to apply their phonics knowledge to blending CVC words (we worked through individual word families one by one, learning to blend each and every combination on its own, before going back and doing mixed practice), it was a lot of work for them to extend their CVC blending skill to CCVC words.

 

We worked through one blend at a time, learning how to blend /s/ /p/ to get /sp/ and how to blend /s/ /t/ to get /st/ and so on and so forth.  And after they could reliably blend each blend when taught in "blend families" (it did go faster about halfway through, as they got practiced at blending blends), we did a *lot* of mixed practice - that was tricky at first, but got easier with practice.  It has paid off, though, because the move to ending blends (CVCC) was pretty easy, and the move to CCVCC words was trivial.

 

We probably did just as much work learning to blend all the possible combinations as it would take to memorize the sound of each combination.  I think we worked through about 460 words with two or three letter blends going through that section, spelling and reading 20 a day (with lots of repetition working through the beginning blends).  But those 460 CCVC/CVCC/etc words were done in half the time it took to work through the 280-odd CVC words - I spent a solid year on learning to blend CVC words with each girl, and just six months on blends.  And Dd7 hit the "shr-" blend today and nailed it without any trouble - all the work is paying off :).

 

 

(In terms of number of blends, our program works through 28 beginning blends, organized by S-blends (eight), R-blends (seven), L-Blends (five), three-letter S-blends (just two, although there's six in English), digraph blends (five, but they are done after the "main" blends section) and one outlier (tw-); our program works through 18 ending blends, organized by N-blends (two), S-blends (three), L-blends (nine), and four miscellaneous blends.  At least for me, that organization made the number of blends seem less overwhelming and less random.  And I have all that info at my fingertips because I made a blends chart for the kids to refer to when doing spelling - blends are enough of a bugaboo for my oldest (she can't hear them well and will slap down who-knows-what when trying to spell them, although the remedial blending work I'm having her do as part of practicing cursive is helping) that I kind of *do* want her to memorize each one, just like memorizing phonograms.)

 

Edited by forty-two

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