How To Teach Continuous Blending in Kindergarten

Have you heard about continuous blending? This Science of Reading approach to teaching blending can support your students on the pathway to becoming fluency readers. Keep reading to learn more and grab a free printable blending road!

Keep reading to learn more about continuous blending in kindergarten and grab your free printable below. Or better yet, get it instantly inside Simply Kinder + here.

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What is continuous blending?

Continuous blending is such a simple concept but it may not be how you were taught to teach blending. To do continuous blending we sound out WITHOUT stopping between sounds, so it sounds more fluid or continuous.

Why use this in your classroom?

Continuous blending reduces brain work and makes it easier for students to decode and read the word vs segmenting. Not to mention, when we read fluently we don’t read separate the sounds but blend them together.

Start with continuant consonants

Blending is easier when you start with words that begin with continuant consonants, which are types of sounds in which air flows continuously through a constricted area of the vocal tract.

Examples of these sounds are:

  • /f/ as in ‘fish’
  • /l/ as in ‘leg’
  • /m/ as in ‘man’
  • /n/ as in ‘nose’
  • /r/ as in ‘rat’
  • /s/ as in ‘sit’
  • /v/ as in ‘van’
  • /z/ as in ‘zip’

These sounds are easier to say continuously than stop sounds such as /p/, /b/, /t/, and /d/.

Continuous blending in kindergarten

Teach continuous blending by making sure students do not stop between sounds, as in driving down the road, without hitting the breaks.

Students will say all of the sounds to decode the word accurately.

Practice with word cards, mapping the word, filling out sound boxes, and make sure to teach in context with decodable books too! Learn more about the endless decodable readers & word work activities here.

How to teach continuous blending

Here’s one way to use continuous blending in your instruction:

  1. Show students the word: rat
  2. Have students say the first consonant and vowel sound together: rrrraaa
  3. Uncover the last consonant and blend it all together: rrrraaat
  4. Say the word: rat
  5. Optional: use it in a sentence to build context and meaning

Using a road visual can help students that need extra support!

Decoding Strategies for Kindergarten

Learn more about a great strategy with Jennifer as she talks with Dr. Marnie Ginsberg from Reading Simplified. Learn about one simple change you can make that will have a big impact on your blending instruction. Read more here!

Free blending printable

Grab this free printable Blending Road to help your students practice continuous blending! Use the printable cars or add some actual toy cars for even more hands-on learning!

Simply enter your information below to have it delivered to your inbox or grab it instantly inside Simply Kinder + here!

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