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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Blending Buddies- A friendly way to help students learn to blend words successfully

Blending Buddies
Materials needed are simple die cuts or cut outs of children (yellow and blue)            
The yellow cut outs will have the body portion of words on them (ex. ri, si, di, hi)
The blue cut outs should have ending consonants on them (ex. p,d,t,g,m)
Blending Buddies uses the Body-Coda method of blending which is why the cut outs are marked with letters the way they are.
What in the world is the Body-Coda method?
Here is what the Reading Genie says about this interesting blending technique.

Body-coda blending.  The vowel is the loudest part of the syllable--the peak. You can always stretch the vowel and say it out loud.  Children find it fairly easy to break a syllable on either side of the loud vowel.  For instance, they might break flight into fl-ight or into fligh-t.     Some useful terms have recently been introduced for describing the parts of a syllable.  All the phonemes through the vowel form the body of a syllable.  Any consonants that come after the vowel form the coda.  For example, in dream, /drE/ is the body of the syllable and /m/ is the coda.
                                     Onset     Rime Two ways to break            ---------  -------------- up the word blast:            /bl/   /a/   /st/                                                 ---------------   --------                                       Body        Coda
    There is an important payoff for this new terminology:  Body-coda blending is easier than onset-rime blending.  This is because onsets are often highly distorted during blending.  For example, if we ask a child to blend d-ice, it is very difficult to pronounce /d/ without considerable distortion.  Because /d/ involves the vocal cords, it takes some vowel to pronounce /d/ (we usually add a schwa /u/), and this artificial voicing interferes with blending in the actual vowel.  However, there is no distortion of consonants in the coda.  Thus, di-ce is a very easy blend.  In general, the easiest way to blend in decoding is body-coda, e.g., swee-t.  Onset-rime blending (sw-eet) is usually harder, but at least there are only two parts to blend.  Phoneme blending is harder still, because there may be 3, 4, 5, or 6 phonemes to blend in a single syllable.  Thus, a natural progression is to begin with body-coda blending, progress to onset-rime blending, and finish with phoneme blending. 

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