Sunday, April 10, 2016

Easy-to-Assemble Blending Boards Notebook

I am so excited to share this today. This is, by far, my favorite "new" thing lately. It's not a new concept at all, but the organization and structure of it is new... for me, at least. Some of you may remember one of my recent blog posts about some new Bossy R materials I've recently released. Well, this whole resource stemmed from the blending board flip chart I included within that resource pack. I shared the whole product with a teacher friend at a nearby school, and she said her students loved the blending board more than anything else. Then she went on to say, "You know, you could create the same thing for other syllable types and patterns as well, couldn't you...?"

Well, yes. Yes, I could. And I did. And I'm loving it.

So that's what I want to share with you today... this new blending board flip charts resource and how to use it in your classroom.

If you are Orton-Gillingham trained, then drill packs and blending boards are not a new concept to you at all. The problem I have is the amount of time spent sorting cards and preparing the right combinations for different groups of students. I teach seven classes each day, with minimal transition time in between classes. I just needed a more efficient way to organize and use those blending board materials.

So this whole idea is based on using a 3-ring binder to organize, store, and actually conduct blending exercises. I color-coded the beginning, middle, and ending sounds for each word so each section of the notebook is super easy to assemble.

But this is my favorite part... within my blending notebook, I have seven different blending boards, including the following:

* Basic CVC words
* Words ending with -ck, -tch, and -dge
* Words ending with -ff, -ll, -ss, -zz (also known as fizzles)
* Magic E words
* Words ending with -nk and -ng (glued sounds)
* Words with digraphs: ch, sh, th, ph, wh
* R-controlled syllables

I simply used tabbed dividers to label and separate each type, and that's it! I have those blending boards ready to use, at a moment's notice, and I don't. have. to. sort. those. cards. anymore. 


It really is my favorite new teaching tool. I know that all of the appropriate combinations are in the appropriate places, so I can either guide my students through a blending routine as normal, or I can hand the notebook over to them and give them control. They love that! I let my students work with a partner to practice blending, and they love to take turns being the "teacher." The notebook works like a flip chart, and they simply flip the cards to manipulate sounds at the beginning, middle, and/or end of the word. It's really amazing how disciplined the blending routine is even when the students take charge with that oversized pointer. :)

Plus, since there are so many blending boards together in one place, students can practice reading with multiple spelling patterns within one exercise. In this way, it provides a great tool for reviewing previously-taught skills.

If you are interested in using this tool in your classroom, you can access the "Easy-to-Assemble Flip Chart Cards for Blending Boards" in the Tally Tales TPT store here. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments. I would love to hear about your experience if you use this with your students!