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Supporting PhonemicAwareness in the ClassroomBy Meaghan Geary Cryan
Final Project DirectionsAs a final project, you will develop plans for teaching phonemic awareness in yourclassroom, inclu...
GRADE: Preschool/Pre-K (mixed; ages 3 to 5 years)SPECIAL NEEDS CONSIDERATIONS: Mackenzie: 4.5 yrs has a Moderate-Severe Ph...
Part II: Phonemic AwarenessPHONEMIC AWARENESS: A CRITICAL STEP IN READING DEVELOPMENTWhile Phonemic Awareness skills can a...
Part III: Linguistic ComponentsYopp & Yopp (2000) give an impressive review on a variety of clever, playful and skill-spec...
Part IV: Audio Recording PracticeReflect on this practice. How do you imagine audio recordings will help you teach and you...
Part V: Student AssessmentWhich assessment will you be using on your student?Audio Recording of Student Assessment Assess...
Part VI: Assessment AnalysisPart 1: Rhyme Recognitiono The first assessment focused on rhyme recognition. Following the sc...
• Overall, what stands out to me most is that I need to be more patient and thoughtful of mystudent‟s age and attention sp...
LESSON PLANSPECIFIC SKILLSTARGETEDPRODUCTS &PERFORMANCESRELEVANTQUESTIONSINSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGIES(MULTISENSORY)1. LITERATU...
Part VII: Strategies, cont.Include strategies you will use in your classroom here.• Activities and procedures:• All activi...
Part VIII: Common Core Standards• Please list all relevant Common Core Standards here, as well as any of your state‟s rele...
Part IX: TechnologyCreate a Phonemic Awareness Activity using technology.1.1) BRAINSTORMING PROCESS: Students will pick an...
Part IX: Technology Continued (Part 2)Technology Resources:1) LITERACY APPS FOR STRUGGLING LEARNERS By Harvey Pressman and...
3) GRASSHOPPER APPS (Grasshopperapps.com):•Sentence Maker•Bitsboard - APP OF THE YEAR•Rhyming Words4) SmartyEars Apps (Sma...
Part X: ReflectionTechnology in our current curriculum has centered around iPad applications, rather than on desktop/lapto...
Essay for Final Credit Requirements• Write a succinct three page essay about what you have learned, how you will apply the...
Essay for Final Credit Requirements• Interestingly, as soon as we started to learn about the various skills involved in th...
• In addition, for a perfectionist like Mackenzie, voice recording can and should be used to practice, record andlisten to...
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  1. 1. Supporting PhonemicAwareness in the ClassroomBy Meaghan Geary Cryan
  2. 2. Final Project DirectionsAs a final project, you will develop plans for teaching phonemic awareness in yourclassroom, including plans for assessment procedures, analysis, and activities. Thisfinal project template will also include one example of a phonemic awarenessassessment and analysis on a student.Your plans should incorporate at least one of the technology tools explored in thiscourse and include details for other types of phonemic awareness strengtheningactivities.Complete this template as the course progresses. This template is due to yourfacilitator at the end of Session Six. At that time, your facilitator will review your finalproject and provide feedback for you in the Notes section.
  3. 3. GRADE: Preschool/Pre-K (mixed; ages 3 to 5 years)SPECIAL NEEDS CONSIDERATIONS: Mackenzie: 4.5 yrs has a Moderate-Severe Phonological Impairment; above averagereceptive speech, no cognitive delay; fine and gross motor skills are developmentally appropriate; no social delays and/orconcerns.LESSON BLOCK LENGTH: 15 to 20 minutes per activity (an additional 5 minutes may be necessary for setup/ instructions).IS PHONEMIC AWARENESS CURRENTLY BEING ADDRESSED IN YOUR CLASSROOM? IF SO, HOW?o Phonemic awareness is currently being addressed through a multitude of speech and language exercises andactivities, such as:1.SINGING WITH RHYMES: "Down by the Bay" and "The Ants Go Marching“2.SYLLABLE FUN:“Syllable Clapping/Counting” Activity: clap out syllables in each student‟s name3.READING RHYMES: Reading aloud books focused on rhyme, such as Dr Seuss: → Green Eggs and Ham‟, „Hop on Pop‟, „The Cat in the Hat‟, „One Fish Two Fish” → I encourage “filling in the blanks” by pausing at the end of a sentence → Students will chime in to “fill in” the rhyme•However, all past activities were rather informal Phonemic Awareness Activities, not deliberate, specific and structured.•As we know from our readings, Phonemic Awareness Skill Instruction is more productive and effective when instruction isboth deliberate and purposeful and targeted toward a specific skill (Yopp & Yopp, 2000; B&A)•Therefore, we have already started to integrate a more goal-oriented, structured (yet playful and fun!!) PAInstruction into our course curriculum.
  4. 4. Part II: Phonemic AwarenessPHONEMIC AWARENESS: A CRITICAL STEP IN READING DEVELOPMENTWhile Phonemic Awareness skills can and should be developed prior to the introduction of printed text, PhonemicAwareness provides some of the most essential "building blocks" to a students early reading development.o PA is essential to learning to read in an alphabetic writing system b/c letters represent certain sounds or phonemeso PA is fundamental in mapping spoken word to printo PA gives students the ability to hear and manipulate sounds in spoken word and also the understanding that wordsand syllables are created through sequences of speech sounds/phonemes (Yopp & Yopp, 1992)CURRENT ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGY:Phonemic Awareness was not being formally assessed prior to this course. Going forward, my goal is to assess PA Skills at regularlyscheduled intervals, as recommended (Phonemic Awareness, U of Oregon):o All Student Goal: to assess all students at least 3 times per school year At-Risk Student Goal: 1-2 times per monthAT-RISK STUDENTS:Early indicators of students at-risk include failure to progress and master developmentally appropriate PA skills even after explicit,repeated, and (if necessary) direct instruction has been given overtime. Issues or delays in the following areas will be monitoredclosely:1) Group words with similar and dissimilar sounds (such as, hat, bat, car)2) Blend/segment words into syllables3) Segment a word into a "sequence of sounds“ (decipher where phonemes end/begin)4) Detect, Delete and Manipulate phonemes in initial, final and medial positions5) History of Speech and/or Language Disorder or Delay (especially, but not limited to, children diagnosed with PhonologicalImpairments)FUTURE ASSESSMENTS: In addition to monitoring and observing each student’s skill level, I plan to assess all students at least 3times per school year (Fall, Winter, Spring) and at-risk students 1-2 times per month.
  5. 5. Part III: Linguistic ComponentsYopp & Yopp (2000) give an impressive review on a variety of clever, playful and skill-specific PA Activities. Inaddition, these activities are cost efficient and easy to integrate into most early education classrooms and/orlearning centers. Below (Table 1) I have included some of my favorites:Table 1: PA ACTIVITIES (YOPP & YOPP, 2000)Activity PA Skill DescriptionSummaryPre-AssessmentPrediction“The HungryThing”(Slepian &Seidler)Rhyming Nonsense rhymes are clues; encouragechildren to predict rhyme or makeup newnonsense words.Developmentally appropriate PASkill for Pre-K, fairly easy tointegrate, but unsure due to speechd/o“Tikki TikkiTembo”(Mosel)Syllables:SegmentingClap out the syllables in boys’ names; thengo around class, clap out syllables in ownnamesEasy to integrate, but may provechallenging for my students“Down By TheBay”(Raffi)Rhyming Sing this familiar song, then encouragestudents to make up their own rhymeFamiliar song, easy to integrate,should prove to be beneficial toclass“Cock-a-Doodle-Moo”(Most)PhonemeManipulationStory uses phoneme addition andsubstitution; make up other sounds foranimals not includedEasy to integrate, will be enjoyablebut more challenging PA SkillsinvolvedThis Table is based on my pre-assessment beliefs and activities of interest. Post-assessment and initialactivities, I gained a better understanding of each student‟s abilities and developed additional PA activities tointegrate into our classroom curriculum. These activities will be addressed in following slides.
  6. 6. Part IV: Audio Recording PracticeReflect on this practice. How do you imagine audio recordings will help you teach and your students learn about phonemic awareness?Audio Recordings & Instruction: Audio recording can benefit instruction in a variety of ways. First of all, Audio recordings could play an extremely helpfulrole in instruction and technology.o For example, on an iPAD Application, a student could listen to the audio recordings of phonemes while playing an educationalgame.• Then, the student could practice his own pronunciation by recording his voice onto the iPAD.• Some apps, for example, “SmartyEars”, will ask the student to record audio files as part of the game/activity, andwill then save the recordings in order for the teacher to review the student’s performance and to monitor progress.Listening Skills & Phonemic Awareness: Listening Skills are a crucial component to the development of Phonemic Awareness.• Just as an early reader must have visual acuity must develop in order to even begin developing Phonemic Awareness islistening. students explore speech sounds by hearing, feeling and seeing their characteristics and comparing andcontrasting their properties.•Topic: What PA Skills are most important?Why? When should these skills be taught?1stRecording•Topic: Practice pronouncing the 40 phonemesin the Applet. Record all phonemes.2ndRecording
  7. 7. Part V: Student AssessmentWhich assessment will you be using on your student?Audio Recording of Student Assessment Assessment used: the Stratford Foundation Phonemic Awareness Assessment Tools (SFPAA) (complete version)Student Profile: Mackenzie is a 4.5 yr old girl diagnosed with a Phonological Impairment (moderate-severe) Speech d/o is purely expressive (she does not have a receptive speech delay) Her sound production disorder is thought, by some professionals, to be caused by Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS)Speech and Phonemic Awareness: Phonological Impairments are commonly explained as a child‟s “underdeveloped system of language”• Many speech pathologist find that this is due to a lack of Phonemic Awareness• In addition, most children with diagnosed Phonological Impairments do not seem to realize that they arepronouncing sounds incorrectly and many show increased frustration and agitation when others cannot understandtheir speech, because to the child, it sounds correct• However, in Mackenzie‟s case, she is aware of her inability to pronounce certain sounds, but cannot physicallycorrect herself due to a sound production issue (and/or CAS)• Due to Mackenzie‟s awareness of her distorted sounds and “unintelligible” speech, I am curious as to whether or notMackenzie will struggle with Phonemic Awareness and early literacy skills like most children with her diagnosisAudio Recording of Student Assessment:
  8. 8. Part VI: Assessment AnalysisPart 1: Rhyme Recognitiono The first assessment focused on rhyme recognition. Following the scripted instructions on the SFPA, I first explained what constituteda rhyme (matching final/end sound) and gave my student two examples of rhyming word pairs (cat-fat, gate-skate) and one example ofa non-rhyming word pair (cat-dog).o Although Mackenzie had a bit of difficulty keeping her eyes closed upon instruction, she enjoyed the “thumbs up, thumbs down”instructions, and identified all 8 pairs correctly (8 out of 8).o Rhyming was clearly Mackenzie’s strength in the overall assessment. This was a welcomed surprise, as I was unsure of her ability tohear and recognize rhyme in the classroom!Part 2:Beginning Sounds: Phoneme Isolationo The second assessment measured Mackenzie’s ability to isolate the beginning sound in a given word. Mackenzie struggled on this taskdue, in part, to her waning attention, and a number of other possible factors.o First of all, unlike in the initial assessment, Mackenzie was instructed to repeat the word, in order to help her locate the initial sound.However, due to her speech disorder, she had trouble with this task and was openly frustrated when asked to repeat each word.o Although she did answer 4/5 correctly, I am not confident she truly understood the exercise. She lacked focus, became fidgety andalso kept repeating the phrases “thumbs up” and “thumbs down” from the first assessment.o In addition, Mackenzie kept trying to introduce rhyming words to the exercise. Since we had been working on rhyming words overthe past month or two, I think she was eager to show her mother/teacher that she had developed rhyme awareness!Part 3:Beginning Sounds: Isolation and Matchingo In the final assessment, Mackenzie’s attention span was completely used up: she was exhausted and confused about the point of theactivity. Either she did not understand or listen to the instructions, or she wanted to run the activity herself!o This area proved to be an area of weakness for Mackenzie, which is not surprising given that she has had no explicit instructionregarding isolating phonemes (yet!).In Future Assessments:• In future assessments, I will be sure to assess her with breaks in between exercises. I will plan to assess Mackenzieonce she has grown familiar with more than just rhyming. It will be interesting to see how she measures after thenew Phonemic Awareness Activities are integrated into our “class curriculum.”
  9. 9. • Overall, what stands out to me most is that I need to be more patient and thoughtful of mystudent‟s age and attention span.• Furthermore, in my observations post-assessment, I was able to gain some perspective andrealized the added struggles involved with assessing your own child. Not only did this presentissues for me as the tester, but also for my “student”:• First of all, I do not think that I ever would have “pushed” another student to complete all threeassessments in one sitting. Although it was difficult for me to come to this realization, I am confident that,in the future, I will be more mindful of this and will be as patient and respectful to Mackenzie as I would bewith any professional relationship.• In addition, while listening to the recording of our assessment, I noticed that Mackenzie felt more pressureto achieve success than she would have with an outside tester. In a way, this was also hard for me tocome to terms with because I would hate to think that I put too much pressure on my children. However, Ido not feel that this is the case: in fact, I believe that most 4 year old children would respond in a similarmanner, as parents mean an awful lot to them at this age!• In the future, I will be cognizant of these observations and make sure that assessments are completed at aslower pace, in an encouraging, low-pressure environment!Part VI: Assessment AnalysisContinued….
  10. 10. LESSON PLANSPECIFIC SKILLSTARGETEDPRODUCTS &PERFORMANCESRELEVANTQUESTIONSINSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGIES(MULTISENSORY)1. LITERATURE:Read aloud booksthat “play withlanguage”ALLITERATIONS,RHYMING,NONSENSE WORDS,PHONEMEMANIPULATION(ISOLATION,SUBSTITUTION,DELETION)1) THE HUNGRYTHING ACTIVITY2) COCK-A-DOODLE-MOO3) THE CAT WHOWORE A POT ONHER HEAD1) WILL STUDENTSALL UNDERSTANDTHESE ACTIVITIES,GIVEN SPEECHAND AGE RANGE?2) WILL THEPLAYFUL, FUNATMOSPHERERELIEVE STRESSOR FRUSTRATION?INCREASE FUN & INTERACTIONBY INTEGRATING ADDITIONALLEARNING MODALITIES:• EACH STUDENT CREATESHUNGRY THING PUPPET; THESTUDENTS COME UP WITHWORDS HE WOULD USE FORVARIOUS FOOD ITEMS (CUTOUTS).2. SONGS:RHYMING,NONSENSE WORDS,PHONEMEMANIPULATION(ISOLATION,SUBSTITUTION,DELETION)1) DOWN BY THE BAY2) MISS MARY MACK3) OLD MACDONALD4) THE ANTS GOMARCHING(VARIATIONS)1) DO I NEED TOINCLUDE A SONGFOCUSING MOREON BLENDINGSOUNDS?MUSICAL, RHYTHMICCLAPPING, KINESTHETIC,AUDITORY, ORAL, ENGAGINGFOR ALL!3. GAMESONSET-RIME,RHYMING,ISOLATING,SEGMENTINGSOUNDS, SYLLABLES& SENTENCES1) BINGO2) ELKONIN BOXES3) RHYMING GAMES4) POKER CHIPS5) PA PHONE6) HOPSCOTCH7) REWARD BIN!1) HOW CAN I MAKETHESE GAMES ASFUN AS POSSIBLE,WITHOUT TAKINGAWAY FROM THEEDUCATIONALASPECT?PLAYFUL, ENGAGING, VISUALAND AUDITORY, KINESTHETIC,SPATIAL AND REWARDING.MANY ACTIVITIES OF THISNATURE LINK THE PHONEMESOUNDS TO THE VISUAL TEXT,THEREFORE ENCOMPASSINGBOTH PHONICS INSTRUCTIONAS WELL AS PA.Table 2 displays the general activities we are currently integrating into our curriculum. Sincethere are too many to mention in just one slide, I have categorized by type of lesson plan.
  11. 11. Part VII: Strategies, cont.Include strategies you will use in your classroom here.• Activities and procedures:• All activities will be carried out in a playful and fun manner, but with a deliberate goal in mind as the instructor.• Due to attention span, activities for Phonemic Awareness will be integrated into the daily routine.• Some activities, such as “The Hungry Thing” Puppet Making Activity, was quite easily integrated into our curriculum andconducted during Arts & Crafts and took approximately 25 minutes to complete.• Other activities, such as songs and story telling, will be conducted during daily “circle time” and will take no longer than 15minutes.• Extensions and modifications• Based on the Common Core Standards and the guidelines presented to me in our readings, I will monitor each student closelyto observe progress, strengths and individual limitations.• If a child is even suspected to be at-risk in developing reading skills, then the child will benefit from early, basic phonemicawareness instruction taught explicitly and directly, with increased repetition.• Furthermore, I will only introduce new phonemic awareness skills once the more basic skills, such as rhyming, sentencesegmentation and syllable counting have been mastered. Given my small group size, I have already started to make a chart foreach individual, and have been able to introduce more advanced PA Skills, like isolating beginning sounds, in a one-on-oneenvironment with students who have already mastered the basics.• Materials and resources needed• Most materials needed are easily accessible through the use of book stores, such as the Scholastic online book store andthrough Amazon.com. For example, the following books were purchased using Amazon: “The Hungry Thing,” “The HungryThing Returns” and “The Hungry Thing Goes to a Restaurant” (all three books written by Jan Slepian & Ann Seidler), „Ten CatsHave Hats” and “The Cat Who Wears a Pot on Her Head”(both by Jean Marzollo) and “Cock-a-Doodle-Moo” by Bernard Most.• Other resources were already present in the classroom, such as Dr. Seuss books for beginning readers (“Hop on Pop” and “Catin the Hat”), as well as recommended readings like “Tikki Tikki Tembo” retold by Arlene Mosel and “Jamberry” by Bruce Degen.• Additional Resources that we will continue to use are the LeapPad 2 (2) and the iPad 2 (1).• Websites used• A number of online resources continue to be helpful, including Reading Rockets (for reference and activity ideas) andCommonwealth Learning Online Institute (for references and peer-reviewed research articles, as well as educationalwebsites, such as pbskids.com).
  12. 12. Part VIII: Common Core Standards• Please list all relevant Common Core Standards here, as well as any of your state‟s relevant Proposed Additional StandardsMA.PK.R.F.2 Phonological awareness: Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes).MA.PK.R.F.2.a Recognize and produce rhyming words (e.g., identify words that rhyme with/cat/ such as /bat/ and /sat/).MA.PK.R.F.2.b Segment words in a simple sentence read or spoken.MA.PK.R.F.2.c Identify the initial sound of a spoken word and generate a list of words thathave the same initial sound.MA.PK.S.L.5 Create representations of experiences or stories (e.g., drawings, paintings, constructions of blocks or othermaterials, clay models) and explain them to others.MA.PK.S.L.6 Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas.MA.PK.R.F.3 Phonics and Word Recognition: Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.MA.PK.R.F.3.a Link an initial sound to the corresponding printed letter and a picture of an object that begins withthat letter (e.g., link the initial sound /b/ to a printed “B” and to a picture of a ball).
  13. 13. Part IX: TechnologyCreate a Phonemic Awareness Activity using technology.1.1) BRAINSTORMING PROCESS: Students will pick an appropriate, teacher approved “Word Family” based on instruction andexamples2) Our classroom will use the MY STORY APP available on the iPAD OR STORYJUMPER (storyjumper.com) on the COMPUTER, ifiPADs are not available please visit storyjumper.com. For the purpose of today‟s lesson, I will be focusing on the MY STORY APP.• Summary of the App: “My Story is perfect for young students because it offers a simple set of features: drawing, voice recording, photos, and text foreach page of an unlimited number of books. Kids can rearrange their pages, use 20 different colors with three different brushes, and start/stop recording withthe tap of a button.” – MYSTORYAPP.COM1.3) Using a Word Family list and teacher support, each student will create a Word Family book using the app. For example, the “at”family would be an easy word family for a beginner- in fact, my student Mackenzie is starting with this word family herself.2.4) Student will create a basic story using the clipart and/or pictures provided in the app (I will make sure the proper clip art isavailable ahead of time.3.5) Once the book is completed, each child will practice and record an audio component . In this component, the child will recordher voice using the audio record feature. This component will help the student practice speaking and listening to develop a solidunderstanding for word families and Phonemic Awareness.4.6) Once story books and audio recording is complete, we will publish the book and sit back and enjoy our story!Activity: Online StoryBooksUsing an online story book creating program, each student will create a “Word Family Book”
  14. 14. Part IX: Technology Continued (Part 2)Technology Resources:1) LITERACY APPS FOR STRUGGLING LEARNERS By Harvey Pressman and Andrea Pietrzyk; Central Coast Children’s Foundation, Inc.2) 6 iPhone, iPad, iTouch Apps for Teaching Children How to Read: http://www.iphoneandkids.com/2010/09/6-iphone-ipad-itouch-apps-for-teaching- children-how-to-read.html3) APPS FOR LITERACY INSTRUCTION: http://www.inov8- ed.com/2011/03/theres-a-special-app-for-that-part-7-apps-that-support-literacy- instruction/This site breaksliteracy down into categories, such as phonics and reading fluency.4) ENCHANTED LEARNING WEBSITE (enchantedlearning.com)5) PINTEREST & FACEBOOK groups and/or recommended App pages are also a useful tool and help to keep one "up-to-date" as technology quickly advances!Language & Literacy Apps that I personally recommend:1) iLearnWith Apps (iLearnWith.com):•Offers cross-curricular apps developed by the same makers of PBS KIDS PLAY! And CBC WONDERWORLD learning programs (award winningprograms).•Each student/child has his/her own profile and parents/teachers can monitor each child through Progress Tracking offered on the app.•There are also rewards given to the student as they progress, along with recommendations to advance to new levels of learning based on progressmade!•My 4 year old really enjoys these in particular:•Learn with Boing!•Ocean•Weather•These applications have also come highly recommended, although I have not yet tried:• iWriteWords, iPlay & Sing, iKidsPlay2)Lakeshore Apps:Lakeshore Phonics Tic Tac Toe GameLakeshore interactive Sound Sorting Game (Beginning Sounds)•
  15. 15. 3) GRASSHOPPER APPS (Grasshopperapps.com):•Sentence Maker•Bitsboard - APP OF THE YEAR•Rhyming Words4) SmartyEars Apps (SmartyEars.com):•I have the Oral Motor App and Articulation Station•All Apps are made by a speech language pathologist, but I would think that there may be benefits in using the app for early Phonemic Awarenessas well as early reading/literacy development•In one activity, children view a scene focusing on a letter in either the initial, medial or final position and can record their own voice making up astory.•I believe the option to listen to an audio of each word is available throughout the entire application, and the students are also given the option ofrecording their own voice saying each word, which they are then able to listen to themselves!•In addition, these apps offer parent tracking capabilities and exciting reward activities and prizes (there is a trophy case for each letter in initial, finaland medial positions for each target sound in the Articulation Station App!)•The Articulation Station added a new feature which offers "homework sheets" to parents/teachers: these sheets list all of the words used in eachscene to help aid in the students progress outside the app itself.5) Speech Journal•Speech Journal is a customizable voice recorder that lets you pair recorded messages with your own imported images and imagesequences. Parents, teachers and speech-language pathologists can create customized picture sequences, multi-step picture schedules,articulation drills, expressive language exercises, multi-step directions, individualized social stories, sample conversations and more.Part IX: Technology Continued (Part 3)
  16. 16. Part X: ReflectionTechnology in our current curriculum has centered around iPad applications, rather than on desktop/laptop -based computer games. I would say that, on average, students have the opportunity to use the iPad for language -basedgames once daily: sessions on the iPad could last anywhere from 10 minutes to 25 minutes, depending upon the activity.While certain applications work best with adult support, there are also applications available to the students which promoteindependent play as well. One of the best features to these applications is that they alow the teacher to set up a profile foreach student and monitor student progress in specific areas. This not only allows for independent play, but also keeps amore reliable, quantitative record of raw data and basic statistics than I would be able to record on each individual myself.Furthermore, many applications allow me to adjust the activity based on each child’s level o f phonemic awareness.•In addition to the iPad, each student has an individual Leap Pad 2, which is a tablet designed specifically forchildren ages 3 to 9 years of age. Similar to certain iPad applications, the teacher or parent can set up an individual profi leon each student and target specific skill sets to monitor progress and record data. Obviously, this is an expensive resourceand I realize it is not feasible in most classrooms, but I wanted to include this technology as it is an integral technologic alcomponent to my current curriculum.•Computer-Based Approach Interestingly, my students have had very little exposure to technology without a“touch screen” feature, which created a major obstacle as we tested the various recommended PA Activities listed inSession 5‟s Table. My students did not have the computer skills necessary to perform any of the activities independently. Ifeel remiss in having not introduced my classroom to an actual computer and how to navigate using a mouse and a keypad. Since this will prove to be an essential skill in their education, I plan to incorporate computer skills into the curric ulumas well. I am confident that my “tech savvy” students will quickly learn how to operate a desktop/laptop computer, andthere are an endless amount of playful, educational phonemic awareness and early literacy games and activities to unleashin this realm!Another benefit of using the computer as a technology tool is the student-teacher interaction. My classroomenjoyed viewing the activities on a larger screen and working with one another to answer questions. As the teacher, Ienjoyed being more engaged with the children as we played the games, since they were relying more on my instructionthan if they had been playing individually on the iPad or Leap Pads. This allowed me to answer any questions or confusionmore readily, whereas on the iPad children sometimes just “guess” until the answer is correct. I also enjoyed theflashplayer capabilities and overall speed using the laptop . Furthermore, the computer screen is much bigger and allowsthe students and I to view the activity with more clarity, providing a much better visual stimulus .IN CONCLUSION, I THINK THAT THE COMPUTER WILL BE A USEFUL TOOL IN OUR CLASSROOM, AND WILL ALLOWFOR INDEPENDENT PLAY AS WELL AS SMALL GROUP INTERACTIVE LEARNING. AS THE INSTRUCTOR, THE COMPUTER ALLOWS METO MONITOR AND CONTROL THE LEARNING EXPERIENCE MORE READILY, AND EXPANDS THE REALM OF ACTIVITY POSSIBILITIES. IAM INTERESTED IN WORKING MORE ON VOICE RECORDING, CREATING OUR OWN CARTOONS OR ANIMATED “SHORTS” (MOVIES)AND “PUBLISHING” OUR OWN STORY BOOKS USING SELF-RECORDED AUDIO STORY TELLING.I PLAN TO INTEGRATE COMPUTER-BASED GAMES INTO MY CURRENT CURRICULUM 2-3 TIMES PER WEEK, USING SMALL GROUPINSTRUCTION.
  17. 17. Essay for Final Credit Requirements• Write a succinct three page essay about what you have learned, how you will apply theknowledge, and reflect on how the CCSS is designed to increase student success.I am truly impressed with the amount of academic knowledge and applicable instruction skills gainedthrough this course. At the beginning of the course, I had a rather limited understanding of PhonemicAwareness and was unsure as to whether or not one class could train me thoroughly enough for meto feel comfortable instructing or assessing Phonemic Awareness professionally (or even privately,with my own children!).• •Fortunately, the education and resources I have received during this course have exceeded myexpectations. The excellent resources, readings, instruction and insightful class discussions haveallowed me to acquire a confident level of understanding on the topics of Phonemic Awareness, theCommon Core Standards and the development of early language and literacy skills in general.• In fact, I am not only confident that I have developed a solid foundation on early reading development,but I am eager to learn more! The phonemic awareness activities we learned about in class were soreadily accessible and developmentally appropriate for my “class” that I have already integrated PA instructioninto the class curriculum and my family‟s daily routine.
  18. 18. Essay for Final Credit Requirements• Interestingly, as soon as we started to learn about the various skills involved in the development of phonemicawareness, I was able to apply it into our daily schedule in small but significant improvements in my student‟sPA skills has already been observed!• I think that the CCSS is designed to increase the student‟s success by aiding the teacher in the instructionalprocess. As discussed in the Yopp & Yopp (2000) article, the most effective method of teaching phonemicawareness includes intentional and deliberate instruction. The CCSS provide the foundation for me to build upmy program and helps me to maintain the focus of the activity/PA skill at hand.• PHONEMIC AWARENESS & AUDIO TECHNOLOGY• Phonemic Awareness is the ability to think consciously about and perform mental operations on speech soundunits such as segmenting, blending, deleting, and changing order of speech-sound sequences. In addition,Phonemic Awareness contributes tour knowledge of how words and sentences are formed, and that spokenwords or syllables can be thought of as a sequence of phonemes.• I think that the audio recording element offered in a wide variety of language apps available through iTunes willprove incredibly beneficial to my class curriculum. The auditory element of the speech sound is connected tothe more basic oral motor activity by which the sound is produced.
  19. 19. • In addition, for a perfectionist like Mackenzie, voice recording can and should be used to practice, record andlisten to the phonemes located within a word. This feature will also help me to monitor her PA skill level andadvance her accordingly- or provide more direct support if she is struggling to understand a concept.OTHER PA ACTIVITIES AND SKILLS• My classroom has already enjoyed many of the activities discussed in our readings, specifically the Yopp &Yopp article, which gives a great description of each activity based on targeted Phonemic Awareness Skill. Mystudents and I have laughed our way through every book in the “Hungry Thing” trilogy and had a great timecreating Hungry Thing Puppets and asking for creative and funny nonsense rhyming words for common foods(sproccoli for broccoli, pettuce for lettuce, etc)RESOURCES & REFERENCES• In conclusion, I think that one of the best features of the entire course was presenting us, the students, willvarious online resources. The amount of information and activities available online is phenomenal, and I feelmore comfortable assessing which activities are safe & sound based on my reference back to the CommonCore Standards for Pre-K and even Kindergarten!• Thank you!Essay for Final Credit Requirements
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