Monday, January 18, 2021

The Importance of Phonemic Awareness

What are the elements of a strong reading lesson? All lessons should include 
-phonemic awareness

I know we are all short on time so we often have to cut something out of our reading lesson so we can hit all of the major targets. So, what do we cut? Most people cut out phonemic awareness activities because we often don't see the importance of them. What is phonemic awareness and why is it important?

Phonemic awareness is understanding that words are made of phonemes or individual sounds. Phonemic awareness activities do not involve print. It involves students listening to the sounds in words. For students to be proficient readers, they need to have a strong understanding of how sounds work and the ability to hear the sounds in words.

I have found that my older students who can't read often struggle with phonemic awareness. They are often unable to hear all of the sounds in words or they are unable to manipulate the sounds. Here are some easy activities that you can add to your reading lessons tomorrow.

1.  Say it Fast- Teacher stretches out a word. Students repeat the word stretched out and then say it fast. EX: Teacher “sssssssssaaaaaaaaat” Students, “sssssssssaaaaaaaaat, sat.” If students struggle, the teacher stretches the word out but says it faster and faster until students are able to say it fast.

2. Same/Different- The teacher covers the mouth and says two words. Students decide if the words are the same or different. For example, NOSE-ROSE. Students will give a thumbs down to show that the words are different.

3. How many sounds? Say a word and have students tell you the number of sounds they heard and what the sounds are. For example, the word flame. Students would tell you it has 4 sounds. The sounds are /f/ /l/ /a/ /m/. The word fox has 4 sounds. /f/ /o/ /k/ /s/. The word heard has 3 sounds. /h/ /er/ /d/.  I have found that many students really struggle with hearing blends in words. L blends and R blends are very difficult for some of our students to hear.

4. Sound Manipulation: Start with beginning sounds, then ending sounds, and then vowel sounds. To begin, tell students, to say, “Mat, but change the /m/ to /s/.” (Say the sounds, not the letter names. Students should say sat.)

Do you need a reading curriculum that targets all of the elements and is appropriate for older students? Check out my No-Prep Reading Intervention Curriculum. 


Sunday, January 10, 2021

Inferencing For Beginners

Do your students struggle with inferencing? I just finished 3 great packs of inferencing task cards. Each set of task cards are available for Seesaw and Google Slides. 

The Seesaw version has audio included on each slide. Students listen to the text and circle the correct answer. The Google Slides version does NOT have audio. Students will read the text and drag the checkmark to the correct answer.

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