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I reach for these blending boards every single school year, yet I'm pretty sure I've never used them the same way more than twice!


Phonics in the Inclusion Setting

At my school, my fab-u-lous co-teacher plans the phonics lessons for the entire first grade. They are truly the best I've seen.

The first graders THRIVED because she kept a routine of weekly activities while still allowing for differentiation (up and down).

I teach Special Education inclusion and the predictable lesson format really helped my students get everything they needed.

Daily Phonics Routine

Everyday we started with a warm-up using a phonics-focused flipchart (Smartboard). The flipchart included blending, guided practice, some type of interactive game, a fun video clip (i.e.: Electric Company on YouTube), and then an quick exit ticket.

These whole-group activities were at the carpet, then we used the following schedule to “show what we know” at our tables:

Monday – Word Families

Tuesday – Dictation

Wednesday – Decodable Book

Thursday – activity (i.e.: a cut & paste/sort)

Friday – Weekly Exit Ticket

Pulling Small Groups for Phonics

As much as possible, I try to follow the the general education activities. My goal is to NOT pull students to my small group table and instead work alongside their peers.

Often times though, we need a little more time with blending. During the flipchart at the carpet, I spied my students mouthing the words, copying teammates, or playing with their shoelaces (nooooo!).

I ended up handwriting extra pages of words to practice for:

1) decoding by applying knowledge of phonics skills (blending)

2) fluency

200 Blending Boards for K-2

I finally typed them all up! This huge set (200 pages) follows a K-2 phonics scope and sequence.

The pages can easily be switched (“mix and match”) to follow any literacy curriculum.

We practice these everyday using different colored markers and after reading every line together (fluency). Then my students got a turn to pick a colorful line to read individually.

They LOVED it because 1) they picked their fave color and 2) I let them use a fun pointer. Whatever works!

This daily blending activity was very informative to help me assess how my students were grasping (or not) the phonics skills. After we settled into a routine, it only took about 5 minutes!

Every year looks a little different, so here's a few ideas for putting these Blending Boards to work:

1) read each line together/individually (fluency)

2) display one page (opens in pdf) for the whole group

3) print and highlight phonics skills (“I Spy” style!)

4) Send home for extra practice (I've been known to stuff them in my students' seat sacks, too!)

They are would work well as a quick performance assessment, especially because students are already so familiar with the format.

How will YOU use these blending boards?

Hi there.

I'm Jennifer!

I’m Jennifer and I was a special educator in the elementary school setting over the past decade. I entered the classroom every day dedicated to making learning inclusive AND engaging.

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