Phonemic awareness is the ability to break words into parts. Such awareness requires the ability to hear, identify and manipulate phonemes. Children need to develop phonemic awareness in order to be successful readers and writers.
INSTRUCTION: The activity “Mystery Object Search” is an effective activity to develop Phonemic Awareness as it is fun and interactive. There are also many variations that can be applied to the activity as students progress in their understanding and learning. I would also encourage students to bring items from home as to also promote Motivation for Literacy.
ASSESSMENT: The BLD explains that teachers can assess student’s Phonological Awareness through observing how they respond to a variety of activities. “Fishing for Syllables” is an activity that can be used as a form of assessment in the primary years. Teachers can effectively assess whether students are able to “clap the syllables and sort the names and picture cards appropriately” (BLD). I think this assessment is effective as it is also “fun” for students to play.
UNDERSTANDING: Chapter 3 of the Early Reading Strategy deepened my understanding of Phonemic Awareness as it outlined what phonemic awareness is and what students need to know. As well, it explained the role of letter-sound relationships in the development of phonemic awareness. This contributed to my understanding of how I can support students in their development of phonemic awareness.
UNDERSTANDING: Chapter 1 of PRF deepened my understanding of Phonemic Awareness as the chapter explains exactly what phonemic awareness is. The chapter contributed to my understanding through answering common questions regarding phonemic awareness instructions, which is beneficial to me as an educator as I plan instruction. I learned that effective instruction “focuses on only one or two rather than several types of phoneme manipulation” (PRF, p. 9).
INSTRUCTION: An instructional strategy that can be used to develop student’s phonemic awareness skills is to engage them in “stretching” and “shortening” words. The article “Playing with Word Sounds: Stretch and Shorten” gives examples of words a student can stretch and shorten. The article promotes effective instruction as it explains what to look and listen for when a student is engaged in the given activity.
INSTRUCTION: Words Their Way is a Literacy Program that develops Phonemic Awareness. This is program is effective instruction as it supports students at the level they are currently at. Depending on the level students are at, they learn different sounds of letters or sounds of letter combinations. I used this program in my Internship and found it to be effective and engaging for students and their learning.
ASSESSMENT: An informal assessment that can be used to assess Phonemic Awareness is to meet with students and ask them a series of questions. The article “Phonemic Awareness Assessment” by Reading Rockets demonstrates possible questions that a teacher can ask students. I think this is an effective form of assessment as the questions are straight forward, easy to follow, and cover the important parts that make up words (beginning, middle, and end sound, blending, manipulation, and…
UNDERSTANDING: The article “Why Phonological Awareness Is Important for Reading and Spelling” by Moats and Tolman deepened my understanding of Phonemic Awareness as it explained how it is a complex skill to learn. I found it interesting how “phonological skill is not strongly related to intelligence”. This contributed to my understanding as I am now aware that the skills is not always “natural or easily acquired”, which I will be more conscious of when assisting struggling students.