When we are asking our students to decode a CVC word we are asking them to first recall the sound correspondence for the letters, hold those individual sounds in their memory, then go back to blend the sounds together.
So not only are we asking them to blend, we are asking them to remember each sound.
This could be a little much for our beginning readers; it is especially difficult for students with ADD or memory issues.
Isabel Beck, author of Making Sense of Phonics: The Hows and Whys, explains how to do successive blending so they do not need to hold more than 2 sounds together in their memory at a time.
Sequence for blending.
1.Place the letter cards “n” “e” and “t” separated in a pocket chart or on table
3.Point to the “e” and say /e/
4.Physically slide the “e” over to the “n”
5.Slide finger along the “ne” and say /ne/
6.Point to the “t” and say /t/
7.Move the “t” card next to the “ne” to make the word “net”
8.Slide finger under “net” and say “net” slowly
9.Read the word naturally
Once we read the word, we spell the words. Sometimes I have to say, "Spelling means we say the letter names."
Hopefully, the student will then reply, " n e t."
I am not sure if the movement of the letters actually helps the students remember, but I have found that if we use this process reading seems to happen quickly!