Front End Blends is a system that teaches the foundations of CVC reading skills by encouraging the reader to focus on blending at the front end of the word rather than at the back end. Though the idea itself is not new, what is new is the unique system I have organized and developed to teach the skills, complete with visual teaching aids. Students will still learn to sound out all 3 letters of a CVC word. However, rather than expecting the student to blend all 3 letters together at once, this system encourages them to begin the task by solidifying the skill of blending the first 2 letters together.
With the widely used method of 3-part blending, students must carry 3 individual sounds in their minds and try to put them together to make the word. For some students this is not a difficult task. However, for other students, the attempt to blend 3 separate sounds is a challenging one. Quite often they find it too disjointed to figure out what word they are attempting to say.
The Front End Blends system has been developed to provide additional scaffolding and support to the beginning reader in order to make the task more easily achievable.
With Front End Blends, the task of blending is organized into 2 parts rather than 3 parts. The first part consists of sounding out the initial and medial letters until that task is solidified and familiar for the student. The second part involves the addition of the final consonant.
Uses: I developed Front End Blends to use with my Kindergartners on a daily basis. This system was a part of my daily morning drills on my smart board. I ran the PowerPoint slideshow on my laptop connected to my smart board and presented the drills to the whole class with the aid of a pointer.
Use the PowerPoint Slideshow: In this system you will find a PDF PowerPoint presentation, containing 46 slides to teach consonant-short vowel-consonant blending for all 5 short vowel sounds. The story passages are also great for whole-class reading.
Small Group/Guided Reading: Front End Blends are ideal for use in small groups and guided reading, to review and reinforce the whole-class presentation and focus on individuals who need strengthening. Three story passages are provided for each short vowel, in color and black and white, the latter of which are ideal to photocopy and send home for practice. One worksheet is included with each vowel story passage packet which enables the student to practice saying the front end blend and then choose the final consonant to fill in the blank to make the word that matches the picture prompt.
One-on-One Tutoring/RTI: I have also used Front End Blends with individual students for RTI and focused work. I found that when I used this method with my students, it was easier for them to “catch on” and to pronounce and blend the entire word than when they used the “initial-medial-end” sounding-out strategy.
Anchor Charts/Independent & Buddy Work: Front End Blend teaching charts may be enlarged, printed and laminated for use as anchor charts for short vowel reference, as well as for self-guided skills practice, such as Read the Room, both individually or with a buddy.
Teaching a child to read involves the use of many tools. It is my hope that this tool will be of great help to you as a teacher!
Front End Blends includes (86 pages total):
- Introductory Packet (4 pages), including Directions for Use and Teaching Method
- PowerPoint teaching slideshow (46 pages), presenting Front End Blend drills for each of the 5 vowels, in PDF format for printable classroom use
- 5 Individual packets (40 pages) containing 3 story passages, in color and black & white, and 1 worksheet for each short vowel packet