Blending CVC words can be VERY tricky for some readers. They may successfully sound out each individual letter, but come up with a completely different word when it’s time to put those three sounds together.
I’ve shared many tips for helping kids sound out words. Another one is successive blending.
Blending CVC Words
One of the main reasons kids struggle to sound out words is they lack the executive function skill of working memory. Working memory is what allows you to hold information in your head while you perform a task.
For example, you use working memory when you jot down your grocery list. You must hold information in your head (the things you need to get) while you write down your list (the task). For some struggling readers, it’s very difficult to sound out all three letter sounds while they try to blend all the sounds to create a word. This is where successive blending comes into play.
What exactly is successive blending?
Successive blending requires learners to hold LESS information in their head while they complete the task of sounding out words.
It’s much easier to show with pictures that explain with words, so I’ll show you how with the free cards you can download at the END of this post.
First, ask your learners to cover up the last letter in the CVC word. They should then start on the dot and say the first letter’s sound /s/. They move onto the second letter /a/. Once those two sounds are there, encourage them to go ahead and blend the two sounds /saaaa/.
Don’t move on to sound #3 until the first two have been blended.
While your learner is saying /saaaa/, ask them to quickly move their hand and add on the last sound /t/ for sat.
I’ve created a page of 10 successive blending cards for each vowel. Each page has a limited number of consonant sounds learners must use to practice blending. For example, the short a page only has short a words with m, s, t, and p. This limits the number of consonant sounds readers need to hold in memory as they work on blending CVC words.
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I learned about successive blending from the book Making Sense of Phonics. It’s a great read! You can learn more about executive function skills needed for school in the book Executive Skills in Children and Adolescents.
Scroll below and click the teal button to grab your freebie! Then make sure to hop over and grab our Blending Sounds CVC Pack for even more word blending practice!
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