Key Points & Information

 Smoothly Blending Sounds for Classroom Instruction


Skill Targeted/Objective for Reading Instruction:

The targeted skill/objective is for the student to develop the ability to smoothly combine the individual sounds together in a fluid word when reading. 

To read proficiently, the student needs to learn to blend individual sounds smoothly together into words without choppy pauses between the sounds. Smooth blending, the ability to seamlessly combine individual sounds together into the fluid word is not only vital for developing correct phonologic processing, it is also critical for developing eventual fluency. The inability to blend smoothly can create a hurdle that blocks reading development.


Key Points for Classroom Instruction:

· Direct instruction is effective; demonstrate and explicitly teach smooth blending skills from the beginning.

· While many students pick up smooth blending easily and automatically, others do not acquire this vital skill on their own and need specific work to master blending.  Monitor to insure all students develop smooth blending.

· Difficulties blending are usually evident as ‘choppy sounding out’.  Students who struggle with blending often know the sounds in isolation but are unable to ‘hook’ the sounds together to say the word smoothly.

· Blending is an important phonemic awareness skill; oral PA blending activities can be conducted with young children.


Techniques for Teaching Smooth Blending:

· Specific activities and effective techniques for directly teaching smooth blending are located in the article Blending Explained

· Phonics Phones can be a useful tool in blending activities: see Phonics Phones.


Additional free information on teaching students to read is located at Reading Information and Information & Resources for Teaching Reading pages of the Right Track Reading website. 


This article was written by Miscese Gagen a mother with a passion for teaching children to read proficiently by using effective methods. She is also a successful reading tutor and author of the reading instructional programs Right Track Reading Lessons and Back on the Right Track Reading Lessons. The purpose of this article is to empower parents and teachers with information on teaching children how to read. We CAN improve reading proficiency, one student at a time!  More information is located at ~ Copyright 2008 Miscese R. Gagen