By the time they reach school age, most children have a good grasp of spoken language. They can give details about familiar objects and are capable of having conversations by automatically combining words to form meaningful sentences. These kids understand that specific sounds represent real objects. The next stage for children is to translate their knowledge of the spoken word to the written form.
There are many important skills that need to be acquired in learning literacy and one of the first that teachers should tackle is teaching phonemic awareness. While children can use and understand spoken words, they usually are not aware of the smaller pieces of sound that are combined to fashion speech.
This skill is phonemic awareness and is essential to have before combining written symbols to make words. Early use of a phonemic awareness program like the one available from Essential Skills, will make phonemic awareness instruction much easier.
Explicit teaching of phonemic awareness is essential to gain a good understanding of the relationship between letters and the sounds they represent. Early use of an evidence-based phonemic awareness program can speed the process along considerably while keeping track of each individual student’s progress and areas of need.
Essential Skills Phonemic Awareness program uses a wide variety of auditory, visual, and tactile typing activities to teach 38 different phoneme sounds. Over 200 phonemic awareness activities give kids lots of practice in a format that is so much fun, they won’t even know they’re learning!
Learning phonemes can be an enjoyable classroom experience. There are lots of whole class and online activities that also enrich alphabet awareness.
- Clapping Names- Kids will have fun speaking and clapping hands to each syllable of their name (first and last). Later they can clap along with their friends’ names too. This will improve their awareness of syllables as smaller and distinct sounds that are pieced together to form words
- Listen to Sequence- Use a variety of objects that make distinctive sounds (bells, knocking, recording of familiar animal sounds etc.) Kids identify sounds, then sequences of sounds. A challenge is to play a sequence, then remove one sound and ask the class to identify the missing piece
- Nonsense– Read familiar lines or sentences but change the order or spelling of some words. Students listen and identify the changes.
These are just a few ways you can boost phonemic awareness in your classroom. Essential Skills online phonemic awareness program contains hundreds of sequential exercises and phonemic awareness activities organized into eight main units:
- Rhyme Time
- Consonant Phonemes
- Copycat Phonemes
- Vowel Phonemes
- Digraph Phonemes
- Phoneme Count
- Fun With Phonemes
Essential Skills Phonemic Awareness program uses a research-based approach that includes teaching phonemic awareness skills gradually and sequentially in a way that ensures mastery at each stage of skill development.
The road to literacy has many steps, and phonemic awareness is one of the first. All kids want to feel successful and by teaching phonemic awareness you will ensure they are well on their way.