“They know most letters and sounds, but are they ready to read?” is a question asked by many parents and teachers of beginning readers. The answer…Maybe, not!
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What is Phonological Awareness?
The ability to hear sounds that make up words in spoken language. It is the big umbrella for all the skills needed to read and write. Language can be broken down into its components:
Phonological Awareness provides a strong foundation for early reading success. A systematic and cohesive approach to teaching phonological awareness can build confident readers who are less likely to struggle with decoding and spelling skills.
Students with a strong phonemic awareness are much more likely to be successful readers.
PA includes recognizing words that rhyme, deciding whether words begin or end with the same sounds, understanding that sounds can be manipulated to create new words, and separating words into their individual sounds. Check out my phonological awareness page with many ideas to teach these skills!
To build a strong reading success, children need to master Phonological Awareness Skills, especially phonemic awareness!
What is Phonemic Awareness?
Phonemic awareness is a subset of phonological awareness in which listeners are able to hear, identify and manipulate phonemes, the smallest units of sound that can differentiate meaning.
Separating the spoken word “cat” into three distinct phonemes, /k/, /a/, and /t/, requires phonemic awareness. (So jump as you say each sound to make it more fun!)
Research shows that the ability to segment or separate words into parts is the biggest predictor of reading success (Stanovich,
I use these No Prep Sound (phoneme) Worksheets with BINGO dabbers…touch one square for each sound!
Writing the letters for the sounds at the bottom builds phonics skills into this fun activity.
Remember Phonemic Awareness only uses the sounds! Phonics happens when you add the letters of the alphabet.
But be sure to attach the letter names after the students understand letter names! For students with difficulties learning, add the phonics at the next lesson.
Don’t forget to practice phonological awareness skills!
Students with a strong phonemic awareness are much more likely to be successful readers. Phonological awareness provides a strong foundation for early reading success.
Teaching phonological awareness builds confident readers who are less likely to struggle with decoding and spelling skills. SO pick 1 skill and practice it daily until mastered then move on to another skill but always revisit.