•  What is Phonemic Awareness?

    Analyzing the sounds of language and how these sounds make up words and sentences. A phoneme is a small unit of speech that corresponds to the letters of the alphabet. For example, the letter b corresponds to the phoneme /b/, the letter d corresponds to the phoneme /d/, and so on. For example, there are 4 letters in the word “bite” and 3 sounds /b/ /ai/ /t/.

    PHONEMES ARE THE SOUNDS IN A WORD....NOT THE LETTERS!!!

    Research shows that teaching phonemic awareness to children is an important part to learning to read and a strong predictor of reading success. It is very important that children understand that words are made up of speech sounds (aka phonmes).  This is important when children learn to spell and read words.

     

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    Let's Practice!!

    All of the activities below can be done with manipulatives to represent the sounds and syllables. Some ideas include blocks, crackers, beads, fruit loops, cheerios…whatever motivates your child!! Make it a game, so it is fun for him/her.

     

    Rhyme:

    The ability to hear the sounds in words and to isolate the sounds from one another can help a child become a reader. Even before he learns the letters of the alphabet, a child can say the sounds in his language. When he can hear the sounds in a word and tell where the sounds occur in the word, he is developing pre-reading skills. Rhyming games can help your child become more aware of the sounds of language.

    Practice

    You can practice rhyming anywhere! At the dinner table, riding in the car or during commercial breaks on TV, play a rhyming game. You can say a word and ask your child to think of a word that rhymes with your word. Then, have him say a word and you come up with a rhyme and he has to judge if you are correct or incorrect. Make mistakes on purpose, so he can discriminate between words that rhyme and those that do not. You can also pick up objects and think of words that rhyme with the name of that object.

     

    Counting Syllables:

    As children learn language they become aware of its sounds and rhythms. According to research children may focus on the syllables in words before they attend to the sounds in the words. With your help your child can count the syllables, or beats in words they know and in unfamiliar words, as well.

    Practice

    To practice counting beats with your child, you should show him a picture and say the word for the picture, clapping your hands for each syllable. Repeat this task and ask your child to clap his hands, too. While you say each syllable and clap your hands, have the child count the number of claps.

    Lion: Li-on (2 syllables = 2 claps) Frog: Frog (1 syllable = 1 clap)

    Parrot: Par-rot (2 syllables = 2 claps)

    Butterfly: But-ter-fly (3 syllables = 3 claps)

    Turtle: Tur-tle (2 syllables = 2 claps)

    Dinosaur: Dino-saur (2 syllables = 2 claps)

    Zebra: Ze-bra (2 syllables = 2 claps)

     

    Location of Sounds: Beginning, Middle, End:

    Determining what sound you hear at the beginning, middle, and end of a word.

    Practice

    Ask your child to listen to a word. Ask him what sound he hears in the beginning of the word. Then move to asking him what sound he hears at the end of the word. Finally ask him to identify the middle sound of the word. 

    Examples:

    “What sound do you hear that the beginning of the word /run/?” ( /r/ )

    “What sound do you hear that the end of the word /sit/?” ( /t/ )

    “What sound do you hear that the middle of the word /pack/?” ( /a/ )

     

    Syllable Deletion:

    Saying a word without a syllable. 

    Practice

    Ask your child to say a word and then say it again without a syllable.

    Examples:

    “Say baseball. Now say it again, but don’t say ball.” (base)

    “Say hotdog. Now say it again, but don’t say dog.” (hot)

    “Say hamburger. Now say it again, but don’t say ham.” (burger)

     

    Phoneme Deletion:

    Saying a word without a sound (aka phoneme).

    Practice

    Ask your child to say a word and then say it again without a sound.

    Examples:

    “Say cat. Now say it again, but don’t say /k/.” (at)

    “Say dog. Now say it again, but don’t say /d/.” (og)

    “Say hat. Now say it again, but don’t say /t/.” (ha)

     

    Initial Sound Matching:

    Determining whether or not two words begin with the same sound.

    Practice

    Ask your child if the two words you say begin with the same sound or not.

    Examples:

    “Do ‘cat’ and ‘cart’ begin with the same sound?” (yes)

    “Do ‘pig’ and ‘piece’ begin with the same sound?” (yes)

    “Do ‘dog’ and ‘tile’ begin with the same sound?” (yes) 

     

    Blending:

    Determining what word you could make when you “blend” or put sounds together.

    Practice

    Say each sound in a word to your child. Ask him to “blend” the sounds together to make a word.

    Examples: 

    “What word do you hear when you “blend” these sounds together /k-a-t/ ?” (cat)

    “What word do you get when you “blend” these sounds together /m-o-p/? (mop)

    “What word do you get when you “blend” these sounds together /h-a-m/? (ham)

     

    Phoneme Segmentation:

    Determining what sounds you hear in each word. 

    Practice

    Say a word and ask your child to identify each sound he hears in the word.

    Examples:

    “What sounds do you hear in the word /win/?” (w-i-n)

    “What sounds do you hear in the word /pat/?” (p-a-t)

    “What sounds do you hear in the word /sit/?” (s-i-t)

     

    Phoneme Counting

    Counting the number of sounds you hear in each word. 

    Practice

    Say a word and ask your child to count each sound he hears in the word.

    Examples:

    “How many sounds do you hear in the word /pit/?” (3)

    “How many sounds do you hear in the word /take/?” (3)

    “How many sounds do you hear in the word /go/?” (2)

     

     

    Make practicing phonemic awareness FUN!!