Phonological Awareness skills include the ability to make up rhymes, clap out syllables, identify first sounds, and segment and blend individual sounds in words. The ability to segment and blend individual sounds in words is called Phonemic Awareness, and this is the highest skill level under the larger umbrella of Phonological Awareness.
Phonemic Awareness is not only correlated with later reading achievement, but it also has a cause and effect relationship with later reading success. In other words, if a child is struggling with learning to read, phonemic awareness is most often the root cause.
Unfortunately, while phonemic awareness is one of the best predictors of later reading achievement that we have (better even than IQ, vocabulary, or listening comprehension), many teachers are still struggling to identify at-risk students, and implement correction strategies that work.
The consequences of not understanding how to help students develop this crucial skill, however, are debilitating to students who are dyslexic. Many struggling readers receive report cards in kindergarten and even well into the primary grades that say that they are "developing at expected literacy levels". Unfortunately, this excludes them from receiving the very different and specific approaches to beginning reading instruction that research consistently tells us works.
In this workshop, teachers will learn how to zero in on the Phonemic Awareness level of all of the students in their classrooms, even those who seem to be progressing well. Teachers will learn how how to increase their students’ awareness of individual sounds and vowel patterns in words right from kindergarten, through activities that can be embedded in any play setting.
(For Early Learning Practitioners and Kindergarten Teachers)
Teachers learning to play Beads in a Bucket (above) and preschooler learning how to play Hop the Hoops! (below)
Teachers learning to play Sound Swap