Kelli Smith PLEASANT RIDGE ELEMENTARY, KNOXVILLE, TN
Kindergarten ELA : Unit #12 - Long Vowels, Blends and Digraphs... Oh My! : Lesson #2

Final Blends Practice

Objective: SWBAT recognize and produce final consonant blends.
Standards: RF.K.2 RF.K.2c
Subject(s): English / Language Arts
60 minutes
1 Why this Lesson? - 1 minutes

Students need to be familiar with as many blends as possible; this helps them decode with more efficiency and makes reading a lot faster.  It is our job to teach our Kindergarteners how to quickly blend sounds together.  After we teach them that, students will be able to also connect words with the same blended sounds.  When students can participate in repeated practice of this skill, the blending of consonant sounds becomes more automatic.

2 Introduction to Final Blends - 10 minutes

Students will be seated around the edges of the carpet, looking towards me.  They are seated around the edges because they need open space to move around with this activity.

"Today, we are going to work on final blends; those are blended sounds we see at the ending of words.  So... where will we be looking for our blended sounds?"
(Students should say, "We will be looking at the ending of words.")

"Good!  Remember, when we blend, we stick two or more sounds together to make one.  For example, I could take the letters S and T at the end of a word and stick them together to make one sound- /st/, like in last or feast.  Can anyone think of a word that sticks the letters F and T together at the ending to make the final sound, /ft/?" (TTW give students time to answer.  Acceptable student answers would be words like soft, draft, loft, gift, etc.)

"Great job finding words that have the final blend of /ft/!  As I said, today, we are going to work on words with many different final blends.  I am going to pass out some cards to you- I would like for you to look at the word first, then look at the picture... What did I say to do?"
(Students will say, "Look at the word first, then look at the picture.")
"Yes.  I want you to look at the word first because I want you to decode it.  Sound it out to yourself, making sure to stick those last two letters together to blend them!  Once you've blended your final sounds and sounded out your word, then you may look at the picture on the back to check and see if you are correct; if you are unsure, that's when you use your picture to check!"

I DO:
"Watch me!  I have a card here.  I am going to sound out as much of my word as I can and then I will blend my last two sounds together- that should help me figure out my word.  Hmmm.... let me look at it." (I will hold up my card with the word flip.)  "I see that the first letters in my word are c and a... hmmm /c/, /a/...Now I need to blend my ending sounds together... T and S together make the sounds /ts/... So I have /c//a//ts/... Cats!... Let me check my picture on the back- yes, I believe I was correct!  Now I am ready because I know my word!"
"Once I have figured out my word, I am going to tell myself in my head, 'I have the ending blend /ts/, because my word is cats.'  I am going to tell myself this a couple of times.  Then, when it is time, I am going to walk around and tell my friends that thought- I am going to be looking for a partner whose word also ends with /ts/ as my match!  When I find someone who tells me that their word ends with the final sound /ts/, I will say, 'My word ebds with the blend /ts/ because I have the word cats.'  As long as my friend and I both agree that we have a match, we can sit together.  Then, we can talk to each other and create sentences with our words!"

DIRECTIONS:
"So, I am going to give you a card.  Remember to decode your word and blend your last two letter sounds together.  Once you are sure of what you word is, look at your picture on the back of your card to check!  When you are sure, tell yourself, 'I have the blend...... because my word is.......'  After you are sure, you can walk around and begin looking for your partner.  If you and your partner agree that you have matching blends, you may sit together and then create sentences with your words.  Does everybody understand the directions?"

WE DO:
Students are given their cards, word-side-up.  I encourage students to take their time decoding and blending their word.  Then, students look at their picture.  After about 30-45 seconds for blending, decoding and looking, I tell students to go find their partners.  As students walk around, I listen and monitor and adjust where needed.  Once all partners are together, I prompt them to tell me what their blends are and what their words are- I also ask students why they decided to be a match.  I will help guide students into the appropriate explanations.  Then, I will encourage students to share at least two complete sentences with each other; one sentence using their own word and one using their partner's.
I will be sure to point out to the whole group sentences that I heard that were good and explanations that were complete. 

YOU DO:
"Now that you have all done a great job finding a match with your same final blend, I would like to see you do it again with no help!  So, I want you to decode, blend, look at your picture, create your explanation, find your partner and share your sentence all without me."
At this time, I pass out new cards, with new final blends, and let students monitor themselves.  Some students may take longer, but they all can do this their own way.  I like to watch and listen at this point. 
When students are all in matches, I simply say, "When I point to your group, please tell me why you are together and your sentences."  I try to give them little guidance because I want to hear what they know and what they can explain without help.
It only takes about one minute for students to explain their match-ups.  After that, I note what I heard that I liked through a few good sentences and/or explanations.

CLOSE:
As I collect the cards, I will close the lesson.  "You guys did a great job finding your matches today!  I think that you worked hard practicing your final blends.  Now... who can tell me what it means to find an final blend?"  (TTW call on a student who is able to answer pretty well to share.)  "Yes, ____ was correct.  An final blend is found at the ending of the word; it's where we combine more than one letter to create one, blended sound.  Great job.  We use final blends because it helps us decode our words more quickly- the faster we can sound out words, the faster we can read and write... So we really do need to try to blend at the ending of words as much as we can!

3 Assessing this Task - 5 minutes

Throughout this task, I look and listen to students.  I like to pay attention to students as they speak with one another and note who is stating their blend and their word versus who is just listening to others- those who aren't able to voice their blend and their word need to have more time spent with re-teaching this activity, as they are lacking confidence in their skills.

I really like to assess students' explanations to me.  I like to hear them say WHY they KNOW that they have a match in their own words- this shows that they truly understand the blended sounds. 

I also like to listen to students' sentences, as it is always important to see whether or not students are able to construct sentences appropriately.  This also helps aid in their speaking and listening skills because they have to speak their thoughts to their partner (and to me) and they have to listen to their partner's thoughts as well!

Making it Meaningful (and fun)!
High Expectations

This activity, as shown in the attached video, can be easily differentiated. 
     It is quite easy to re-teach and review decoding skills during this lesson (as you can see). 
     It is also pretty easy to ask students to extend their learning- "Can you think of another word with your same final blend?"  "Can you use it in a sentence?"  "Can you use two words with the same final blend in one sentence?"

Throughout this task, no matter where the child is entering the learning, I expect them to be able to communicate their thoughts with their partner and with me.  I think it is important for all students to practice their speaking and listening skills while also showing their current knowledge of the task at hand.  If a student is lost and needs help, I am happy to redirect them, but I always make sure that they leave me knowing how to state their learning, so they can share with someone else.  I think these high expectations help my kids communicate their skills much better with each other; and, when kids teach each other, they learn a lot better!

Here is a video of us during this lesson on Final Blends- We were working on decoding mid-lesson.

4 Daily Practice - 10 minutes

I like to remind students of blends prior to this lesson (as this lesson is typically used as a transitional game), so I like to get them up and moving with their blends!

"Let's take a break to review our initial blends.  Where can I find an initial blend?"
(Students will say, "You can find it at the beginning of a word.")
"Yes, we will be looking at the beginning of words for a group of letters that we can blend together to make one sound!  Before we work on finding matches of blends with our partners, let's remind ourselves of some of the blends we should be familiar with!"  Here, I play the video!

I like to use this video because it allows students to review the final blends quickly.  As the video plays, I let my students dance around and "yell out" (say aloud) the blends- they have to have seen this video a few times before they can really get used to it- it is quite fast, but that is nice and rigorous!  Also, it is fun to review this video (on mute) and go back and say the entire word instead of just the final blend each time!
If that video is just too much (due to the loud music and lack of guidance), I like to play this really mellow (and British-accented) video!  It guides students through repetition of blends and words that go along with the blends!

After we watch a video about blends, we are ready to practice them for ourselves!

At this time, I have students seated around the edges of the carpet.  I do this so they have room to move around.  Then, I pass our final blends cards that came from Really Good Stuff.  Unfortunately,  My Blends Cards Box (it came with a kit) is now unavailable; however, this is something that could be easily found elsewhere, or even made!

Students are given their cards, word-side-up.  I encourage them to take their time decoding and blending their word.  Then, they can look at their picture.  After about 30-45 seconds for blending, decoding and looking, I tell students to go find their partners. 
As students walk around, I listen and monitor and adjust where needed. 

Once all initial blend partners are together, I prompt them to tell me:
1) What is your blend?
2) What are your words?
3) How do you know you are a matching pair?

Once I have taken about a minute to prompt each group, I have students talk to their partners and create a sentence using each of their words.  I do this to reinforce the blend and the fact that their words begin with the same sounds, as well as to reinforce their speaking and listening skills!

I will be sure to point out to the whole group sentences that I heard that were good and explanations that were complete.

Throughout this task, I look and listen to students.  I like to pay attention to students as they speak with one another and note who is stating their blend and their word versus who is just listening to others- those who aren't able to voice their blend and their word need to have more time spent with re-teaching this activity, as they are lacking confidence in their skills.

I really like to assess students' explanations to me.  I like to hear them say WHY they KNOW that they have a match in their own words- this shows that they truly understand the blended sounds. 

I also like to listen to students' sentences, as it is always important to see whether or not students are able to construct sentences appropriately.  This also helps aid in their speaking and listening skills because they have to speak their thoughts to their partner (and to me) and they have to listen to their partner's thoughts as well!

5 Extending the Lesson - 5 minutes

This is a "game" that I love to play frequently as a transitional task once we have done this introduction a couple of times.  I like to review this skill in whole and small groups because it truly does build students' decoding fluency.

I also really like to practice this skill in centers- after I have done this introduction a couple of times and we have participated in daily practice, students LOVE looking for final blends (and initial blends as well).  Attached are some really fun final blends activities that I have used this year that I think students really enjoy and truly learn from.

Here are some center activities I like to use in order to support this lesson:
Final Consonant Blends Game
Final Consonant Blends Center Activity
Final Consonant Blend Independent Work Activities
Roll, Read and Color Final Blends

This brief activity is really easy to extend into daily learning.  I like to take our blending skills and apply them when doing things such as Morning Message, or small group decoding.  I also really like to have students practice blending in centers- this gives them a chance to talk through their blends and also allows them an avenue for practice before application (during reading and writing).  Attached are some fun center activities to extend this lesson!