In order to get these students to focus on the words themselves it might be a good idea to try nonsense words! No matter how many words they guess, the word they are trying to read isn't really a real word. This will help them to focus on looking at the patterns themselves.
I've made this freebie for your kids to practice! You might use it with RTI students, in Guided Reading small groups, for early finishers, or even at a center. I've included basic phonemes, blends, digraphs, diphthongs, and word families on the interchangeable cards. Just place cards on the workmats and decode those nonsense words!
My students love when I make super long nonsense words and challenge them to decode them!