Remember, it is common for many students to acquire the alphabet sounds faster than phonemic awareness. This will be a trend that many schools will experience. But within this trend, there will usually be a small group that experience great difficulty acquiring the skill of blending, despite the targeted teaching that is being provided. The tips below are for this small group of students whose blending skill development is very complicated.

Tip #1: Analyse previous Pre-Reading Screen test sheets and responses and search for patterns.
Look for growth in the student’s incorrect answers. Development (even incremental growth) can be occurring.
Note negative observations, as these are central to understanding what is occurring for the students.
Look back over past tests to make a comparison. There may be growth, just at a slower than typically expected rate.
Tip - send the copies of the student's test papers through to the PLD office for support:

Tip #2: Ensure you are presenting the following programs that target blending skills several times within a day. Remember short frequent sessions produce the highest gains.
Learning to Blend Onset & Rime - with an emphasis on continuous blending.
Learning to Blend Three Phonemes - with an emphasis on continuous blending.
Preparing for Reading - which is ideal for small intensive group work, with a range of different activity tasks.

Tip #3: Further assessments are likley, as you continue to keep teaching this vital skill.
A referrals to a Speech & Language Pathologist (SLP) would be an ideal starting referral. To accompany this SLP referral the following form may be useful.
The school's educational psychologist is also a relevant referral source.
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