How many times have you found students struggling with CVC words even when you feel like you’ve tried EVERYTHING you could to help them master blending and segmenting? I’m here to share 5 easy, engaging, and effective strategies to help students learn how to blend and segment these important words and have a blast doing it!
What are CVC Words?
These are three letter words that follow the consonant vowel consonant pattern. Some examples include: mat, zip, ran, and peg. CVC words are easy to rhyme and reading these should come after students master identifying their letters and sounds. These are great for students to begin learning about blending and segmenting because each letter makes its own sound, which makes them easily decodable.
The Importance of Blending and Segmenting
So what exactly is blending and segmenting and why is it important for students? Segmenting involves students breaking words down into individual phonemes, such as /r/ /a/ /m/ , whereas blending is when those sounds get pulled together to form the entire word. While this is typically a skill developed in kindergarten, there are still students who struggle with this important skill through second grade and sometimes even higher.
But why is this particular skill so important? Think about how you read for a second. When you’re reading, do you have to stop often to decode a word? Most likely the answer is no. When we become fluent readers, we have learned a variety of decoding strategies which allows us to move from thinking about decoding words, to our brains shifting into automaticity so that we can comprehend the sentences. This is the ultimate goal of reading- to move past the task of “reading” to having that movie play in our minds. Visualization is the power.
CVC words help beginning readers feel very successful when reading because they are so easily decodable for them! Now that we know what they are and why they are important for readers, let’s dive into the magic and fun of teaching them!
Blending and Segmenting Fun
All of these began with the thought in mind to develop hands-on activities for students to practice this crucial skill and HAVE FUN! I started simple with this blending activity.
While these are simple, they are VERY effective for students. Students use colored counters to practice segmenting each individual sound. I then teach students to use the arrow to blend the entire word together.
This activity is effective because it allows students to see visually what it looks like to segment and blend words, while also includes that movement piece for them as well. They are also great for differentiating for students. Whether you have students just starting out and want to work purely on sounds or whether they are more advanced and you want to add in the letters, these cards can really support students.
When students get really good at this skill, I then add in the cards with the boxes for writing in the sounds. This allows students to practice writing the letters associated with the sounds and then blending and reading the entire word together.
Have you ever thought about letting students play with toys while they learn? I know you may be thinking that sounds like too much. I thought the same thing at first too!
When I brought this out, and gave each kid their own little race car, the kids went CRAZY! They had a blast “racing” while blending. The best part is they didn’t realize how much they were learning because they were having SO much fun! Just like with the other activity, these mats have the dots at the bottom for students so when they are segmenting and blending, they know where to start, slow down, and stop! These mats also include nonsense words for students to practice those as well!
The slide analogy is a great way for students to understand blending words together. This is a great multisensory way for students to see how as they move their finger and each letter makes a sound to blend the entire word together at the bottom of the slide like /c/ /a/ /n/ > /ccccc/ /aaaaa/ /nnnnn/ > can. The best part is you can grab this FREE below!
Love this FREE resource?
How much are kids OBSESSED with popping right now?! No matter what kind of popper, there’s a blending mat for YOU! Students can simply working on popping the sounds they hear or they can match sounds to letters and create their CVC words.
Want kiddos to get some energy out while they learn? They will LOVE hopping and blending sounds together with Hula Hoops. I love using THESE hoops to get kiddos up and moving. It’s a great activity for small or whole group! Click on the in action picture to watch a video of this engaging activity.
With all of these activities, I’ve tried to include as MANY different CVC words as possible for students to practice so that they aren’t practicing the same words over and over again. The best part is after practicing ALL of these different activities in small group, they can then become center activities they already know how to play and LOVE!
These activities can be used in SO many ways. Students can work on beginning sounds, or work on isolating individual sounds, and of course they can work on blending words together! This growing bundle is the most wishlisted and purchased resource in my ENTIRE store. Teachers tell me over and over again how much this resource helps their students and how often they use these activities as interventions for students. Read below some of the wonderful things teachers have to say about these activities.
“This resource is very helpful. I am struggling to get some of my students to meet their goal of reading word family words. This has been very helpful to get them to visually see how they can use the blending strategy to read these words.”
“Great resource for small groups to keep students engaged and excited about their learning!”
“I am excited to begin using these with my students! I plan to use them for small group. So many fun and different ways to target segmenting/blending 🙂 With this bundle I am set for a while!”
“I am excited to use this with my students to help blend words and increase reading skills. I know it will be used often and a go-to for my students. Thanks”
“Lots of creative ways to practice CVC words with your class. Especially great for centers or for guided reading. Thank you!”
“This is an amazing resource to use in my small group!”
“These are great introductory activities for my kindergarten students. We use them for literacy centers with our early literacy teacher during second term. Thank you!”
“This provides plenty of activities to help all of my students with blending. It was perfect for my small group lessons as well as word work activities for students.”
This is also a GROWING bundle because as I come up with more hands on ideas, I continue to add them to the bundle! So each new resource that gets included, you get for FREE! If you would like to learn more about these different hands-on activities, you can watch the videos below! To grab the 450 page growing bundle, simply click on the picture!
I hope you enjoyed learning more about segmenting and blending and how to make it fun and enjoyable not only for the students, but for you as well! Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list! You will get the most up to date tips, tricks, and classroom projects… and of course more fun FREEBIES including the Slide Blending FREEBIE! You will also have exclusive access to tons of digital how-to videos! If you would like to learn about this and other things happening in my classroom follow me @sweetnsauerfirsties on Instagram.
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