Many of you will be entering the new school year and the excitement of meeting your little learners is mounting. They will all enter with a wide range of skills and abilities. With the curriculum expectations becoming more rigorous, we tend to omit the basics. When I started teaching kindergarten, I was so eager on getting these little ones learning the alphabet and start the process of writing and reading early. I learned very quickly that the majority of my students didn’t understand the concept of what a beginning sound was nor could they hear it. I had to take a step back and start with the basics. This is where phonemic instruction comes into play. The video in the link below does a fantastic job of explaining phonemic and phonological awareness.
The graphic organizer displayed above was from the URL below. Great Job!!!
Importance of Phonemic Awareness
Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear and segment sounds. We know that a student’s skills in phonemic awareness is a good predictor of later reading success or difficulty. Since research has proven this time and time again, as a Pre-K or kindergarten teacher, this is a great place to start your literacy instruction. I have outlined some fun and engaging activities below that can be used for segmentation and blending.
Slow Speaking Sam Puppet
I have a puppet called “Slow Speaking Sam”. He says sounds of words very, very slowly. My little ones have fun trying to figure out the word he is saying. Together we blend the sounds to say the entire word.
Assigning Each Child A Sound
I have three students (to begin with) and assign them each a sound. They each say their sound and the rest of the students must guess what the word is when you put all the sounds together (blending).
Money in the Bank and Taken Out
I show a CVC picture card (45 pictures on the Kinderplans site). Each child is given a cupful of pennies or whatever you have available. The students move the pennies into the bank representing each sound heard. After, they blend the sounds together to say the entire word while removing the pennies. After the game, the students can count how many pennies they collected.
Squeeze the Sound
Again, I show a CVC picture card. The students must squeeze the ball each time a sound is heard. They blend the sounds together to say the entire word, while dropping the ball to the ground (do not want a ball that bounces). This is also great for developing fine-motor strength too!
Stretch the Sound
The students stretch each sound using a slinky or elastic band. These can bought at a Dollar store (love those stores).
Using Your Imagination
These are just a few examples but you get the idea of the possibilities. The activities should involve some sort of movement in order to be effective.
When Do I Start Introducing the Alphabet Letters?
I only concentrate on phonemic awareness activities for the first week or so of the school year. I still continue to do these throughout the year but I introduce the relationship to a letter.
Meeting Your Curriculum Outcomes
If the Kinderplans Alphabet program were to be followed the majority of your curriculum outcomes would be met. The only area that is not covered is poetry. I am working towards adding these to the collection of resources found on the site.
If you have poems that you use in your class to share, I would really appreciate them sent to me or post a comment below.
Alphabet Program Explained
I just recently posted a video on the site that explains the program. Hop over to view it.