In the garden – reading words

Last week, the children read some more simple three letter words using the say stretch blend method I explained in a previous post. (

They started off by reading the words in this garden based picture and matching them to the appropriate image in the picture:

CVC in the garden

They then did some hands on reading using flashcards.  After they read each word, they stuck the letters onto a piece of paper so that I could keep a record of the words they had read.  Lastly, they read some words on their workbooks and matched them to the appropriate picture.  The children are doing very well with their reading.  They all managed to read the words either with a bit of help or no help at all.  The main problems they encounter are:

  1.  Trying to guess the word and not taking the third letter into account e.g. they see ca and they assume that it is cat when there is actually cap written down.
  2. Looking up (at me, most times!!) halfway through the word and forgetting what letters they were supposed to be blending.  I will be introducing a prop this week to try to tackle these first two problems.
  3. Mixing up the vowel sounds.  Many confuse the sounds of a and e.  A should be pronounced with an open mouth whereas to say e, the mouth should be stretched sideways.  Some children also confuse a and u.
  4. Using letter names instead of sounds.  The words we are reading are those that can be sounded out phonetically.  The children need to blend the letter sounds together.  It will only work if phonics are used mmm aaa ttt – mat.  If they say em instead of mmm, blending is not possible.

If you need help to know how to pronouce a sound (and I am well aware that many parents were not taught using the phonetic system when they were young), you could look it up in the video below.  Please note that we do only single letter sounds this year.

Below is a link to another video explaining how best to pronounce the sounds when blending words with your children:


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