Blending again!

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Judy
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Blending again!

Post by Judy » Wed Oct 24, 2007 11:24 am

Two of the pupils I teach are having great difficulty blending CCVC and CVCC words when they say the sounds themselves, though they can hear the word straight away when I say the sounds.

I noticed on last night's 'Last Chance Kids' that when Ruth Miskin was working with the little boy who seemed not to have got off first base, she said the sounds for him. This started me wondering whether I should continue to do this with my two pupils, hoping that they will eventually begin to do it for themselves, or whether to persist with trying to get them to hear the word when they say the sounds themselves, even though at the moment this is producing more failure than I think is good for them.

One of them is a 14 yr old who has previously been taught using sight words and the other is an 8 yr old who was entirely reliant on pictures and learning books by heart. Both have very weak working memories.

Any advice welcome!

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maizie
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Post by maizie » Wed Oct 24, 2007 12:29 pm

Have you tried 'progressive blending', Judy? 'j', 'ju', 'jum', 'jump'......

Also, I've pmd you!

Judy
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Post by Judy » Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:44 pm

Thankyou for your pm, Maizie.

And yes, I have tried 'progressive blending' and they can do it every time if I say the sounds but still can't do it by themselves, although they do try!

It always seems that when they come to the point where they should be saying the whole word, a 'spare' sound gets added, often, but not always, /s/. Or sometimes they miss out one of the consonants, having said them all separately with no difficulty up to that point.

I noticed that Ruth Miskin always ended by saying the whole word herself. Obviously I began that way but I don't want to carry on doing that for too long because I am sure that these pupils, who excel at remembering 'sight' words, would just take their cue from what I said and remember the whole word without blending it first.

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maizie
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Post by maizie » Wed Oct 24, 2007 2:22 pm

Are you making them 'read' each grapheme while they are blending? In theory this should produce an automatic response with the correct sound for each grapheme (yeah, I know, easier said than done!) but lots of children still try to decode, memorise the phonemes, then blend from memory. Not necessary....

Judy
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Post by Judy » Wed Oct 24, 2007 2:57 pm

I am doing my best on that front, Maizie, but you know what they're like - would rather have their eyes anywhere but on the word in question!!! :grin:

I've just been making some lists of words to practice with - again! - and as I did it, I realise that they find CVCC words less of a problem than CCVC ones.

I'm wondering whether to focus on groups of words with the same intitial consonants - eg sp or st - though this sounds a bit close to teaching consonant clusters!!

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Maltesers
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Post by Maltesers » Wed Oct 24, 2007 11:20 pm

I find it easier to get them to read the cvc word and then add the consonant

so...bum p, lum p, ben d, ban d and when they have got that go the other way

s top, d rop, g rip etc

Thats what 'Letters and sounds' suggests and it worked with mine! They now don't need to do that and can just sound out and read.
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Judy
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Post by Judy » Wed Oct 24, 2007 11:28 pm

Thankyou for the suggestion, Maltesers.

My only worry about doing that with CCVC words is that it would mean they are not tracking from left to right, unless I've misunderstood you, and retraining them to do that is particularly important with my band of strugglers! (Most of them are prone to reversals and have a tendency to overlook the first letter of the word.)

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Maltesers
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Post by Maltesers » Thu Oct 25, 2007 9:56 am

Yes I do understand what you mean. It did seem to work with mine though even my very poorest child. I think its reducing the need to blend 4 letters all at once and works on something they can actually do. You can still work left to right though. Say the first sound and then get them to work out the cvc word and then crash together.

Why not try just the cvcc words to start with and see how you get on. I sort of look at it in the same way as I teach children to read words with more syllables. Chunk it up and read the bits and then join them together

so for cat/nip read cat and then nip and then put them together to make catnip. I get them to look for the vowels and read around the vowels from left to right.

Of course you could just work with the consonant clusters

so explain that

/s/ and /t/ make st and then add /o/ /p/ to make 'stop'
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Judy
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Post by Judy » Thu Oct 25, 2007 10:29 am

I think we are getting away from the actual point of difficulty, which seems to be that they can perfectly well hear the word when I say the sounds, even though I never say the actual word at the end, as Ruth Miskin did on the programme. But they don't seem to be able to hear it when they say the sounds themselves. Could it be something to do with the way they are saying the sounds?

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Post by Guest » Thu Oct 25, 2007 10:53 am

I had an adult student who did just that- he could blend my sounds but not his own. I demonstrated this to him and we tried to get him to change his habits (inveterate panic guessing) with the mantra "Listen as you say the sounds to read the word".

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Post by FEtutor » Thu Oct 25, 2007 10:55 am

Sorry, last post from
FEtutor

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Maltesers
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Post by Maltesers » Thu Oct 25, 2007 11:14 am

I dont think I was getting away from the point! :???: If they can hear the blend when THEY sound out a cvc word its not much different to sounding it out with an extra consonant!
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chew8
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Post by chew8 » Thu Oct 25, 2007 11:48 am

I have worked with a few children who had problems with blending (e.g. lost or gained sounds in the process) and also with a few who couldn't blend when they themselves said the sounds but could do it when I said the sounds, even if I said them no faster than the child had said them in the first place. In all cases, they 'got it' once they had been given sufficient practice.

I can appreciate, though, that there may be some who struggle inordinately with it. There may then be a case for easing them into it via what Greg Brooks has called 'scaffolded' blending: starting with the blended form of the word, segmenting it, then reblending it. I think there is also a case for just modelling the blending of word after word and getting the child simply to repeat what one has said - e.g. teacher says /d/ - /o/ - /g/ - 'dog', child says /d/ - /o/ - /g/ - 'dog'; teacher says /h/ - /e/ - /n/ - 'hen', child repeats .... etc. The more children hear themselves going from the separate sounds to the whole spoken word, the more likely I think it is that they will eventually 'get it'.

We always have to be aiming, however, to get them to the point where they can do 'unscaffolded' blending, as this is what they need to be able to do in reading independently.

Jenny C.

Judy
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Post by Judy » Thu Oct 25, 2007 11:49 am

Very sorry, Maltesers, I was in a rush and expressed myself badly!

Having thought about it some more, the question I am asking is:

Should I persist with trying to get these pupils to hear the word when they say the sounds themselves (using only the alphabet letters), or should I move on to introduce more correspondences and hope that they will somehow gradually get the idea from hearing me modelling the blending.

The risk of spending too long on the blending, particularly with the 14 yr old, is that they will get bored, frustrated and 'turned off' to reading this way as they have both been taught to read by other methods which must seem a lot easier to them at the moment.

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Post by Guest » Thu Oct 25, 2007 12:18 pm

No problem!

I think I would keep introducing new sounds whilst still practising.

I like the way Letters and sounds suggests we teach because we are constantly revisiting and reviewing.

Is he fast at GPC? If he has to think about each letter first he will be lose the word very quickly.

If a child can instantly see /s/ /t/ /o/ /p/ without thinking 'What is that sound?' then they are much more likely to hear the blend.

Also I get mine to constantly say the sounds over and over in the word. Often children will look at a word, go through the sounds and then look in the air as if by magic the word will appear. If you get him to keep looking at the word, say the sounds, look at the word, say the sounds and keep repeating until its totally automatic I am sure he will very soon hear the blend.

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