Blending boards help students learn the foundational reading skills of segmenting and blending consonant-vowel-consonant (cvc) words. Download this free resource and follow this step by step tutorial to put together your own blending board binder that can be used as a phonics warm up or as a teaching strategy for emerging readers.
Step 1: Cut the cards!
Step 2: Put cards in different groups to follow specific phonics rules.
For example, the letter c does not appear at the end of words – instead in English, words that have the /k/ sound end with “ck.” while the letters f, s, z, and l also are usually doubled at the end of the word such as “off,” “mass,” “ball,” or “jazz”.
Other letters, when in the wrong place on the blending board, could create sounds that the student has not learned yet. For example, the letters r, w, and y completely change vowel sounds when at the end of a word such as “car,” “cow,” and “say.” Also, be mindful that the letters c and g change their sounds when paired with e or i. Emerging readers, who have not yet learned the hard and soft c and g rule, would benefit from c and g as the first letter with the vowels of a, o, and u and k and j as the first letter with the vowels of e and i. For the purposes of a simpler teaching experience in the beginning, I recommend putting the letter g at the end of the cvc word.
Write a small 1&3 in a corner for letters that can go in the first or third position on the blending board:
-B, D, M, N, P, T
Write a small 1 for letters that should be the first letter of the cvc words:
-C, F, H, J, K, L, R, S, V, W, Y, Z
Take out the vowels to put them in the 2nd position of the cvc words:
-A, E, I, O, U
Write number 3 for these letters that can only go in the 3rd position of cvc words:
And put aside Q for now!
Step 3: Hole punch each stack of letters and then put the letters in the correct position in the binder! You can also add sticky notes of c, v, and c or an arrow to show which way the students will be reading the word.
Step 4: Model segmenting and blending.
Step 5: Allow students to use the blending board independently and provide supports when necessary.
If students are still struggling with cvc words, you can go back and re-teach letters and sounds using these flashcards, or you can focus on the student mastering segmenting and blending vowel-consonant (vc) words first.
For extension, you can create your own flashcards with consonant or vowel digraphs.