Sliding Sound Blends for reading practice

I needed some remedial activities to reinforce my youngest child’s reading and spelling,

I used my very useful reference book, Remedial Education in the Primary School, by M.C. Grove’ and H.M.A.M Hauptfleisch, pg.155, for some hands-on reading practice tools.

These authors state that,

“Reading, spelling and word-building are very closely related and exert a reciprocal influence on one another.  For the purpose of remedial teaching this fact must always be borne in mind and reading, spelling and word-building should be treated as a unit.”

So, in a nutshell, children must recognize letter sounds to read and spell.

I went ahead and made some …

Sliding strips and frames to reinforce sound blends and practice reading.

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I would love to share these with you all!

Please click here for your download ~ Sound Blend Strips

Some practical tips:

  • I covered mine strips with clear tape, but you could laminate them or put clear contact adhesive plastic over yours for durability.  (These strips are handled a lot!)
  • Tape the strips together where they run over 2 pages to create 1 long strip.
  • Leave the top sound blends heading on each strip so that you can put it in the correct frame if it falls out.
  • The sound blend strip and frame are the same colour, so they are easy to match.
  • Store the slide strips in a large Ziplock bag in your remedial file.
  • Store the child’s slide strip/s for the week in a smaller Ziplock bag in their file/ workbox.
  • Select just a few slide strips (or 1 long one) for each week.
  • The child must write those words formed for spelling.
  • They  must practice reading and spelling daily for a week or until the child has mastered the blends.

How do these strips fit into my reading and spelling program?

This would be your progression before you can use the sliding strips:

1. A child must learn all the letter sounds of the alphabet;

a for apple, b for ball, c for cat and so on.

(I have had amazing success with the ABBAcard system where each letter has the picture of its sound in the letter shape.  i.e: a dog in the d, an umbrella in the u, etc.  They have a large wall chart which we look at and read aloud together for several days until my child can read the alphabet without any help.  They have a set of the same picture alphabet with pictures on cards.  We play snap and build 3-letter words with the cards.)  But, what ever your program is, make sure your child know letters by their sound first!

Only once the child knows letter sounds for the alphabet very well, should the letter names be introduced.

2. The child can now learn alphabet names;

a = ay, b = bee, c = see and so on.  I usually introduce a chart with capital letters next the lower case letters and we sing the alphabet song.

3. Next the child must learn basic letter blends;

sh-, th-, ch-, -mp, ee-, oo-, str-, and so on.

4.  Now we can practice reading with the sound blend strips.

  • Introduce the blends.
  • Start the slide and say the new word with the first letter.
  • Allow the child to read all the new words.
  • Challenge the child to find these new words in their readers.  You’ll be amazed at how they spot all “their” new words!

5. Practice spelling the new sound blend words.

  • Practice spelling on a white board.
  • Let them write these words in their spelling list sheet.
  • When you test spelling, always give the word in a sentence.
  • Let your children make up silly sentences using as many of the words as they can.
  • Older children can write out the dictated sentences in their tests.
  • Use these words for weekly spelling and add thematic vocabulary for older children.

Hope this helps other struggling readers and spellers!


10 thoughts on “Sliding Sound Blends for reading practice

  1. Hi there! I have just followed your blog and am interested in downloading this resource, it’s just fabulous! But there doesn’t seem to be a link for me to click on?!


  2. Thanks so much for the printable! I linked over from Simple Homeschool and these are perfect to keep as a practice activity for my early reader. Thanks for doing the grunt work for us : )


  3. Hi Nadene.
    First, I wanted to say thank you for spending the time on this blog. I have found so many things you posted helpful and encouraging. I simply had to comment on this one though, since my husband and I were just talking the other day about this very idea of sliding word panels – not only to help with blends but to train our sons’ eyes to read left to right. I hadn’t seen or heard of them before.
    So when I saw your post I was excited. Thank you for posting them.
    With warm thanks.
    Jennifer (homeschooling mum of 3 boys in Australia)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I just found your blog and I remember my boys learning through the Internet homeschooling program when we moved to Belize. My oldest son just graduated with an engineering degree, so I know he did well.


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