I haven't posted in a while, but I don't have tons of time so here's a quickie. We started blends and digraphs last week. After an "I don't think they had any idea what I was talking about" lesson, I wanted to find a way to explain it to them so that it "clicks" and speaks to them on their level. My brilliant husband came up with the idea to compare blends to milk and cereal and digraphs to chocolate milk. Lost? Let me explain...
A blend is two or more letters that go together (we say them fast together), but we can still pick apart their individual sounds. Similarly, milk and cereal go together, but we can still separate the milk from the cereal.
A digraph is two or more letters that when combined make a completely different sound. You cannot hear their individual sounds. When chocolate syrup and milk are mixed together, they make something different. You cannot pick out the syrup or the milk once they've been combined.
I brought in the different ingredients and used the analogy there in front of them. TA-DAH! They really seemed to understand after having that concrete example to go by! Way to go, husband! He's always been smarter than me, but now he's starting to out-creative me, too! Jerk!
Here's the little anchor chart we made as a class...not my finest work, but it's something to go by! I also included a fun chart we made after reading Dishy Washy and brainstorming all of the digraphs we found. I've created monsters. They can't STOP pointing out blends and digraphs...even at the most inopportune times (i.e calendar math..."Mrs. Guillo! Thursday has a 'th' digraph!"). But if they're going to interrupt a lesson, I'd rather them interrupt me with those thoughtful comments :) I'm proud of their hard work these last few weeks. I feel like we're really starting to make some big progress these days...getting away from the 'beginning of the school year' feel and really into the heart of the year! Yippee!