Phonemic Awareness Teaching Tips

Notes from Shifting the Balance: 6 Ways to Bring the Science of Reading into the Balanced Literacy Classroom 

Check it out here on Amazon

Shift 2: Recommitting to Phonemic Awareness Instruction

Recommendations for making the shift

What does phonemic awareness Instruction require?

1. Instructional routines

  • -Articulatory gestures
  • -Blending
  • -Segmentation
  • -Isolation and discrimination
  • -Deletion
  • -Substitution
  • -Word lists

 

2. Multisensory Scaffolds

Because phonemic awareness is abstract metalinguistic (manipulating abstract sounds), use a multisensory and interactive scaffolds

  • -Elkonin boxes

 

3. Assessment Plan


Using Articulatory Gestures:

Thinking about where a phoneme is made in the mouth, or placement of articulation, can help children distinguish and remember the sound.

P b m Putting our lips together
F v Putting our top teeth against our bottom lip
th Putting our tongue between our teeth
T d n s z l Pressing our tongue to the roof of our mouths, just behind the teeth
J sh ch Pressing our tongue on the roof of the mouth, back a bit
A h Opening our throat and mouth
K g ng Pressing our tongue on the roof of the mouth at the back

 

Continuous sounds are sounds that are held as long as we can.

Stop sounds are sounds made with a single puff of air.

Phonemic Awareness Teaching Tips

Have children place their hands on their vocal chords to feel which phonemes are voiced, and unvoiced.

Sound sorts with picture cards: Display and say the name of key cards, then have students identify the sounds in each.

Elkonin boxes: Make the abstract work of phoneme manipulation visual and multisensory

Use counters or bingo chips to slide into each square that represents a sound in a word.

Phonemic Awareness Teaching DON’Ts

1. Using letters and sounds interchangeably

Instead of:

  • -Listen to the letters in pin -> Listen to the sounds in pin
  • -What letter do you hear at the beginning of pin? -> What sound do you hear at the beginning of pin?
  • -How many letters do you hear in the word pin? -> How many sounds do you hear in the word pin?

 

2. Not being intentional about clean pronunciation of every phoneme

Stop sounds like p/b can become buh or puh.

Tip: Before making the sound, exhale, then think ‘quick and quiet’ as you produce the phoneme to avoid the extra vowel

Join the phonics launch team!

<Read Part 7: Phonemic Tasks from Easy to Hard

Read Part 9: Why Children Write Letters Backward>

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