Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Having Fun With Blends!

Once upon a time, there was a pretty princess and a prince.   It was the princess's birthday, so the prince gave her a pricey present.  Then he was broke, so she fed him pretzels.

This is one of the silly stories in our current unit of learning consonant blends, and the worksheet can be found at Danie Dee's Dollar Store on the TeachersPayTeachers site.  

What are consonant blends?    Consonant blends are just two consonants together that make a blended sound.  They include br, cr, dr, fr, gr, pr, tr, bl, cl, fl, gl, pl, sl, tw, sw, sc, st, sp, sm, sn, etc. 

As you can see, a lot of everyday words start with these blends.  

Consonant blends are not to be confused with digraphs which only make one sound - sh, th, ch, wh, wr, ph, etc

Raelee, who is 7, is quite confident in making blends as she reads, but I wanted to teach them intentionally and then to review them regularly.   Raelee is a visual person and will remember something she's seen and interacted with.   I also want to cement them before we move on to using them a lot, which we will be doing in the next chunk of learning we do - CVCe words and CCVCe words.   Not sure what they are?  

Words like bun, sat, pig, dog, vet, bin, bag, pen, pot, cup are all CVC words - Consonant, Vowel, Consonant words.

Words like bake, pile, rope, huge, Pete, make, hose, bike, cute are all CVCe words - Consonant, Vowel, Consonant, silent e words. 

CCVCe words are much the same, only they use two consonants at the front - blends or digraphs:   for example, shape, slide, theme, close, white, space, prize, graze, plate, etc.

As you can imagine, these words are very common in every day life and in children's readers,  so it's important that children understand them and then master them. 

So, back to blends.   I have found a couple of different resources to teach blends, so I will share them with you.  We have used worksheets like the following ones to teach the r blends over the last couple of weeks, then we'll move on to the l blends, then the s blends.  

The worksheets at this link are done by Danie Dee at the Dollar Store on the Teachers Pay Teachers website. She has a $1 pack for each blend and you can find the links for those as you scroll down at this one.   There are other worksheets within these packets.   I use 4 worksheets per blend on a given day, then use reading pages and cards to reinforce them on other days.

Danie Dee is one of my favourite TPT teacher/authors and I have bought quite a lot of her material in $1 packs, to use in our homeschool setting.

She also sells larger packs on TPT under the name Danie Dee.

I will circle back around over the next few months and practice the blends again, this time with worksheets from Miss Giraffe at TPT.   

Lavinia Pop from Teachers Pay Teachers also has some great blends worksheet packs as well.   This one is a freebie so you can see what is on offer in each package.

Children tend to learn well in cycles, rather than trying to teach something in one large block and not touching it again.   Using different resources tends to catch their interest and help them learn something new about the concept, and to cement what they already know.   

So, at the moment, we are learning the beginning blends.   There are also ending blends, some of which are the same as beginning blends, but there are other endings that are quite different and are worth teaching: for example, ng, nk, nd, nt, mp, st, sk, ck, ll, lk, lf, lt, lp, ld, etc.  That's for another day. 

I am also revising the blends using clip-it cards in our early morning work.   More on clip-it cards another day. 

You may be wondering why I'm using school-type worksheets and resources for our homeschool? If you are, then I have written an article about it HERE and perhaps it will be helpful for understanding what I use and why.

A cranky croc and a clanging clock, a friendly frog and a blending blog
a skating skirt and a tricky train, a glowing globe and a spider in Spain,
a slippery slug and a plastic plate, a pretty princess and a snapping snake,
all good reasons to learn the blends, the ones at the beginning and the ones on the ends.

Have fun with blends! 


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