Catch up and keep up: blending CVC words.

Great improvements have been made in the teaching of phonics, however some children – whilst they know their sounds STILL cannot blend. WHY?

These children may have a dyslexic-type profile, they may have some dyspraxia – they are likely to have low working memory.

What to do?

Ensure that their sounds are ‘pure’ ie without an additional vowel schwa sound added at the end, see here for a demonstration of pure sounds:

Pure sounds

These children can say the sounds in CVC words but cannot blend them to make a word. Typically, the vowel sounds falls out of working memory. There is no proprioceptive feedback from a vowel sound as they come from an open mouth.

When teaching and modelling sounds encourage exaggerated enunciation and ask students to FEEL the sounds, in this way they do not have to rely on the phonological loop which may be weak.

See here for modelling blending, stretching the vowel sound: showing the sequencing and movement of the jaw:

Modelling placement of the vowel CVC

In addition, continue to read, enjoy and practice short words in books. Sometimes, the vowel sound is first eg ‘and’, practice words which are only two letters: if, at, up and add an initial sound (onset and rhyme) eg at becomes ‘cat’, up/cup – do this using wooden or plastic letters.

I read an EP report recently which said the child would never learn to blend.

Blending improves with reading and instruction, as the brain slowly rewires.

Phonemic awareness and dexterity improves in a reciprocal relationship with reading.

Lovely book for encouraging an enjoyment of sounds (children have this anyway but may not link to phonics):

Here are my phonics cards FREE on Teachers pay Teachers, they integrate digraphs and trigraphs with a picture.

Phonics picture cards

Do not give up!!


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