FEELING STRESSED

TEACHING V-8 MOMENTS

BEHAVIOR 101

Teaching BLENDS: Anchor Chart, Small Group Activities, Word Work, Reading Passages

Food is one of my favorite teaching tools.  I have a captive audience when I incorporate food with my lessons.  Most students love hot cocoa.  They may have drunk it at school during the Polar Express Day or with their family.
Tell your class that two of the ingredients of hot cocoa are like consonant blends.  Add cocoa powder and sugar to a bowl. For demonstration purposes, I recommend using a glass bowl.  
In another glass bowl, add two letters of consonant blends in the bowl.  Tell your class that the cocoa powder is like the letter f and the sugar is like the letter r.  Have your students make it each sound.  
Put your finger in the cocoa powder and taste it.  Then put your finger in the sugar and taste it.  Tell your students what it tastes like. The cocoa powder is not sweetened.

Now take a spoon to mix or blend the ingredients together.  Show your class what the mixture looks like now.  You can still see sugar and powder but they are very close together.  Now put your finger in the mixture and taste it again.  Tell your class what the new mixture taste like.  The ingredients are so close together that it is hard to taste the separate ingredients.

Consonant blends work much like these two ingredients.  The two letters are so close together that the two letter sounds blend together.

Check your school's food used with lesson policy before the try the above idea.  If your school allows food, you can give students their own bowl and ingredients.  Check with your school nurse for allergies before you do this.
Continue practicing blends when you meet with your small group with this blends climb activity.  Students can make real or nonsense words.
Differentiate the blends climb activity with your small group:
  • Write real or nonsense words with initial blends
  • Write words with blends in the middle of the word
  • Write words with blends in the last syllable
Make anchor charts with your class.  You can make a word bank with pictures like the one above.
If you have an advanced class, you can make an anchor chart with:
  • Write real or nonsense words with initial blends
  • Write words with blend in the middle of the word
  • Write words with blend in the last syllable
Play the boy-girl game after making the anchor chart, You could also play this with teams.  To save time, I usually played the boy-girl game.  I chose one girl and gave her a pink marker and gave one boy a blue marker.  When I said "go" the students with the marker would go to the anchor chart and circle one blend.  Then the boy would give the marker to another boy who hadn't had a turn yet.  The girl would do the same thing.  This continued until all of the blends were circled.  At the end, I counted the blue circles and pink circles.  If a student circled the wrong thing, I subtracted one. The winner was the group that found the most blends.
The activity, "Head, hips and tips of toes" is a little like song, "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" and Simon Says.  The teacher says a word with a blend.  If the blend is at beginning of the word, students touch their head.  If the blend is in the middle of the word, students put their hands on their hips. If the blend is in the last syllable of the word, students put their hands on their toes.  I recommend making a word bank ahead of time.  

"Head, hips and tips of toes" can be used for inside recess, as a wiggle break, or a warm up for a lesson.
Give students additional practice with blends themed reading passages.  Students will color the word:
  • Red: words with initial blends
  • Yellow: words with blend in the middle of the word
  • Green: words with blend in the last syllable
WORD WORK: Practice, practice, practice with word sorts.  
WRITING: The shape book is open-ended.  Students can write a story or sentences with the words from the anchor chart or the words from the blends climb activity.
Set up a literacy center with books that include the blend that you are focusing on.  To make it extra fun, add pointers that include the blend.  In the picture above is a wooden crab and crown that I found at Hobby Lobby.  I glued it to a tongue depressor.
Gather a collection of books that includes the blend you are focusing on.  Books that include a wide variety of topics and levels work best.

BLENDS - FR Books:
Froggy Rides a Bike by Jonathan London
My Friend is Sad by Mo Willems
Frozen: A Tale of Two Sisters by Melissa Lagonergro
Franklin is Bossy by Paulette Bourgeois
I'll be your Friend, Smudge by Miriam Moss * Lynne Chapman

What is your favorite way to teach blends?
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