I am excited to about our summer book study with our friend Abby from Kindergarten Chaos. The summer book study has become a tradition for us. We love going on this journey together and learning and growing so we can be the best teachers possible. Since this journey focuses on teaching reading and will include much about the science of reading (SOR), this will be a JUDGEMENT FREE journey. No shaming. Just teachers learning together!
Our book this summer is Know Better, Do Better. We chose this book because it focuses on the foundations of reading so it seemed like the perfect book for summer!
Chapter 3: Phonological And Phonemic Awareness
Here are my takeaways from chapter 3:
One of the things that we see in the research over and over again is the need for phonemic awareness. It is so clear that this sometimes neglected skill needs to be a much bigger focus in our classrooms. And I speak for myself. I can identify 3 students from my class this year that struggled with reading and they struggled with phonemic awareness. The correlation is crystal clear.
Another takeaway was the importance of vocabulary instruction and making sure vocabulary instruction is happening at all times. When I started teaching I learned to teach reading using the science of reading. But, the focus was on phonics and decoding (which is what you see so much of on social media now) and neglected the other four pillars of reading instruction. So when I read the part about vocabulary instruction, I was so excited to see more than phonics being discussed.
And finally, KEEP IT SIMPLE! Ya’ll. You’ve heard me say this a billion times. Kids don’t always need big, giant, over-the-top experiences and lessons. Kids love simple. Kids love learning and FUN! THe beauty of phonemic awareness is that it requires NO materials or stuff. And it can happen in just a few minutes at a time.
Phonemic awareness activities:
- oral blending-say the sounds in a word and students say the word (we actually do this as an activity during morning meetings)
- count the words in a sentence
- silly sentences-Bob built a brilliant blue barn. Students identify the repeating sound.
- identify and produce rhyming words (we do this with TKS BOOTCAMP and orally)
- add and delete sounds to make new words (we do this daily with our “change your name” game)
- change sounds to make new words (change hat to cat)
- segment the sounds in a word (we do this with TKS BOOTCAMP and orally)
- identify the beginning sound of a word (we do this in ABC BOOTCAMP and orally)
- identify middle and ending sounds in a word (we do this in TKS BOOTCAMP and orally)
TKS BOOTCAMP And Phonemic Awareness
Phonemic awareness is built into each component of TKS BOOTCAMP. In ABC Bootcamp, we are identifying beginning sounds, we are counting syllables, and doing a little segmenting.
The numbers on this ABC BOOTCAMP circle chart are the syllables in the words!
For the rest of the components of TKS BOOTCAMP, we are segmenting words, blending words, counting syllables, and producing rhyming words. All of these happen orally and then we do the print/writing. For example, in this Word Family Bootcamp lesson, we are doing -ip words. The kids say “dip” so we segment the sounds, we orally blend the sounds, and we can orally identify the beginning sounds. So each word is loaded with phonemic awareness. And then we can draw the picture and spell the word on the chart.
Change Your Name
This is one of our favorite phonemic awareness activities. And we do it EVERY DAY! It’s fast. It’s fun and the kids love it. To play change your name, you (or a student) choose a sound. Then everyone changes their name to that sound. Example: student chooses “m” so Dan becomes Man!
Phonemic awareness isn’t just at the word level, but it’s also at the sentence level. This sentence game is something we’ve done for years and it really helps the kids understand sentences.
Now we want to know how you teach phonemic awareness! Comment below or join us on Facebook for even more discussions!
And make sure to visit Kindergarten Chaos to read Abby’s thoughts on chapter 3!
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