Develop students’ phonological awareness skills in kindergarten and first grade
The ability to hear and manipulate sounds in spoken language plays a causal role in the acquisition of reading skills. Therefore, teaching phonological awareness lays the foundation for students to become successful readers.
Use effective instructional methods to teach phonological awareness
- Phonological awareness skills exist on a continuum ranging from easier to more difficult; instruction of these skills should follow this continuum. These skills (in order of difficulty) include:
- Segmenting sentences
- Blending and segmenting syllables
- Blending and segmenting onset-rime
- Blending and segmenting phonemes
- Focus on phoneme blending and segmenting, the most crucial components.
- Focus first on initial, then final, then medial sounds.
- Introduce continuous sounds (s,m,f,…) prior to stop sounds (b,d,p,t…).
- Instruct daily for 15-20 minutes with practice throughout the day to produce the most gains.
Assess phonological awareness skills regularly from the beginning of kindergarten through the end of first grade
Monitoring growth in the development of phonological awareness skills is essential for determining each student’s skill performance level and for informing instruction. Both student accuracy and fluency with phonological awareness skills should be regularly assessed to ensure that all students are making good progress.
Professional Development Presentation
While many children enter school with well-developed phonological awareness skills, research has shown the critical need for explicit instruction to ensure all children have this foundation in learning to read. In this module, specific examples of several phonological awareness skills and suggested methods for planning effective instruction are demonstrated. Activities to expand your practical knowledge and further readings in this area are provided at the end of the presentation.
Apply the Concepts
1. Continuous vs. Stop Sounds
Look at the list of sounds on the page then put a circle around those that are continuous and a slash through those that are stop sounds.
2. Arrange Phonological Awareness Skills From Easiest to Hardest
Read the list of phonological awareness skills. Based upon information shared in the presentation, put them in order from easiest to hardest.
1. Big Ideas in Beginning Reading Phonemic Awareness: Instruction—Curriculum Maps
Phonological awareness skills can be taught in a particular sequence that maximizes student understanding and instructional efficiency. "Curriculum Maps" list specific skills that relate to phonological awareness. Each skill can be taught at an optimal time during the school year. Use these maps to plan instruction for the year and to review where a student is on the continuum of learning phonological awareness skills.
2. Student Progress Record for Phonemic Awareness
The Florida Center for Reading Research developed Student Progress Records to help teachers record the progress of their students within each essential skill of reading. The Student Progress Records can also be used to form small groups for targeted instruction. The attached resources are Student Progress Records for Phonemic Awareness for kindergarten and first grade students.
3. Five Big Ideas of Reading Instruction: Phonemic Awareness—Handout: Phonological Awareness Definitions
The first page of this handout provides a list of phonological awareness definitions that teachers can reference. The second page is a practice page where words can be matched to their definitions to check for understanding. Use this reading to build a deeper understanding of phonological awareness terms for staff members.