Teaching Strategies and Examples: Blending
Scaffold Task Difficulty
- When children are first learning to blend, use examples with continuous sounds, because the sounds can be stretched and held.
- When children are first learning the task, use short words in teaching and practice examples. Use pictures when possible.
- When children are first learning the task, use materials that reduce memory load and to represent sounds.
- As children become successful during initial learning, remove scaffolds by using progressively more difficult examples. As children become successful with more difficult examples, use fewer scaffolds, such as pictures.
Example: "Listen, my lion puppet likes to talk in a broken way. When he says /mmm/ - /ooo/ - /mmm/ he means mom."
Non-example: "Listen, my lion puppet likes to talk in a broken way. When he says /b/ - /e/ - /d/ he means bed."
Example: Put down 3 pictures of CVC words and say: "My lion puppet wants one of these pictures. Listen to hear which picture he wants, /sss/ - /uuu/ - /nnn/. Which picture?"
Non-example: ".../p/ - /e/ - /n/ - /c/ - /i/ - /l/. Which picture?" (This is a more advanced model that should be used later.)
Example: Use pictures to help children remember the words and to focus their attention. Use a 3-square strip or blocks to represent sounds in a word.
Non-example: Provide only verbal activities.
Example: Move from syllable or onset-rime blending to blending with all sounds in a word (phoneme blending). Remove scaffolds, such as pictures.
"Listen, /s/ - /t/ - /o/ - /p/. Which picture?"
"Listen, /s/ - /t/ - /o/ - /p/. What word?"
Non-example: Provide instruction and practice at only the easiest levels with all the scaffolds.