Supporting Phonemic Awareness in the Classroom By: Beth Dinelli
Final Project Directions
As a final project, you will develop plans for teaching phonemic awareness in your classroom, including plans for assessment procedures, analysis, and activities. This final project template will also include one example of a phonemic awareness assessment and analysis on a student.
Your plans should incorporate at least one of the technology tools explored in this course and include details for other types of phonemic awareness strengthening activities.
Complete this template as the course progresses. This template is due to your facilitator at the end of Session Six. At that time, your facilitator will review your final project and provide feedback for you in the Notes section.
Is Phonemic Awareness currently being addressed in your classroom? If so, how? If you are not currently teaching in a classroom, please fill out this template as if you are teaching in the classroom of your choice.
Phonemic awareness is being addressed in the classroom on a daily basis both in whole and small groups. Some students are paired together to work on pa tasks. After reading literature that promotes phonemic awareness, follow-up activities are completed such as creating rhymes, identifying initial and final sounds, and blending and segmenting sounds.
Part II: Phonemic Awareness (Session One)
Reflect on one of the readings from this session. Some guiding questions could be: Why is phonemic awareness an important step in learning to read? Do you currently assess student’s phonemic awareness? If not, what are the early indicators that allow you to identify if a student is at risk of reading difficulty?
Based on the information given in the University of Oregon article , PA skills need to be taught prior to teaching children how to read. Students need to be aware that speech is made up of small units of sound and have the ability to manipulate those units. The PA step is crucial because our language is based on the alphabetic principle. Our language system maps sounds onto symbols (letters), or, rather, the letters in words are systematically represented by sounds. Phonics will not make sense without phonemic awareness. If a student does not have PA skills, they will have some of the following difficulties when they attempt to read: segmenting a word into its individual sounds, blending sounds into a word, or detecting changes in words that affect meaning.
I do currently assess student’s PA skills. If a student comes to me without prior testing I may assess them formally with the following instruments: DIBELS, Lindamood Auditory Conceptualization Test, The Phonological Awareness Test, or the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing. I may also assess them informally by having them complete tasks such as: blending sounds together to form a word, isolating sounds, or identifying sounds in a given word.
Part III: Linguistic Components (Session Two)
From the Yopp article, which activities look promising and intriguing? Which ones might be easiest to incorporate into your current curriculum? Which activities, before assessing your students, do you think would benefit your classroom most?
Yopp and Yopp provide many wonderful activities at all levels of PA. I like how the activity “ How Many Syllables in a Name “ uses the book Tikki Tikki Tembo to demonstrate syllable counting. I think the repetition of Tikki’s name throughout the book reinforces this. The follow-up activity of having students count the number of syllables in their names and then using colored pieces of paper as cues for each syllable would help solidify the students’ understanding of this concept. I also like the “Teacher May We?” game since it taps into the kinesthetic modality of learning that is so powerful. At the onset-rime level I believe the “Mail a Package” game would be very engaging. I think students would love the idea of getting the opportunity to “mail” their picture after completing the onset-rime task. The Bag Game at the phoneme level would also generate a lot of motivation since students would be excited to learn what object they received. The cubes with this game makes the PA more concrete for the learner.
I think all the activities are versatile enough to use with any of my students. Before assessing my student I would choose activities that emphasize onset-rime and phoneme manipulation because I believe this is where her weaknesses lie and this would give me some good data to analyze. I would choose the following activities for my student: Going on a Word Hunt, Make a Word, the Bag Game, and Scavenger Hunt.
Part IV: Audio Recording Practice (Session Two)
Share your URL to your practice audio recording here:
Reflect on this practice. How do you imagine audio recordings will help you teach and your students learn about phonemic awareness?
Audio recording is an invaluable tool in phonemic awareness instruction and learning. Teachers can create recordings of PA activities that students can use either individually or in pairs. This would be especially helpful if there is not enough time to get to all the PA instruction in a particular day then students can go to a learning center in the classroom to do it independently. Using recordings in the classroom would also help students focus on the auditory nature of phonemic awareness. For some students there may only be certain PA task they need more practice with so recordings could be a way they can get that support. Teachers can record their PA lessons and then play them back to listen to how effective instruction was and to analyze student performance during the lesson.
Part V: Student Assessment (Session Three)
Which assessment will you be using on your student?
The CLC Younger Student Assessment
Insert the URL of your audio-recorded assessment with a student here.
Part VI: Analysis (Session Three)
After completing an assessment on a student or small child, you will reflect on their scores using the appropriate worksheet.
What stands out to you most?
Reflect on the areas of student strength.
Reflect on the areas of student weakness.
I assessed a first grader using the younger student rubric provided by CLC. Overall, the student did pretty well. It was very helpful to view the videos prior to giving the test, so I felt more comfortable explaining the directions to the student. The student stayed focused for the entire assessment and put forth strong effort, sometimes giving some thought prior to responding. Therefore, I feel that the results are a valid estimate of her current functioning in the area of PA. Her strongest area was identifying beginning phonemes. On that subtest I was concerned that she had to remember a lot of language (the directions, the names of the pictures). I'd be curious to know if she would have done as well without the pictures. On the sound blending subtest she missed two items. She said turn for train and each for reached. She got 66 out of 75 phonemes on the phoneme segmentation fluency subtest. Some words she struggled with were too, row, and boost. On the recognizing rhyme subtest she only missed one item. When I analyzed the results I found the following: when blending 4 sounds she omitted sounds, when segmenting she substituted long vowels for short vowels, inverted sounds (said st- instead of -ts), and blended sounds together. I think her PA instruction should focus on blending and segmenting, especially words with 4 or more phonemes and long vowel sounds. This was a positive experience, and I found that such assessments provide valuable data to inform future instructional programming.
Part VII: Strategies (Session Four)
Instructional Strategies : The student will participate in engaging and interactive phonemic awareness activities to discriminate the sounds that make up words. Oral blending exercises will help the student hear how sounds are put together to make words and these activities will lead to decoding. Segmentation activities will help the student separate words into sounds which will lead to spelling, in which the student begins segmenting words into their component sounds in order to write them.
Specific Skills to Be Developed: Blending 3-6 phonemes in a given word and segmenting 3-6 phonemes in a given word.
Activities and Procedures:
Blending Activity 1: Old MacDonald Had a Box- Write the song on chart paper. During singing, orally segment a different one syllable word for the student to blend (i.e. “And in the box he had a /r/ /o/ /k/.”)
Blending Activity 2: Riddles Game -I will say a riddle of the word I want the student to blend and say the sounds of that word. The student will have to guess the word and blend all the sounds together. (i.e. “I’m thinking of a creature that lives in the sea. It’s a /k/,/r/, /a/, /b/.”)
Segmenting Activity 1 : Bingo Chip Segmenting- I will say a word and as the student segments they will pick up a magnetic bingo chip for each sound.
Segmenting Activity 2: Phoneme Jumping - I will say a word and the student will say the sounds she hears as she jumps from colored mat to colored mat.
Part VII: Strategies, cont. (Session Four)
Use Old MacDonald Had A farm as a rhyming activity.
Have student spell select words from the activities using Elkonin boxes.
Make a chart of the words, letters and sounds from the bingo chip activity.
Make a list of select words from the activities and have student decode them.
RF.1.2. Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes).
Distinguish long from short vowel sounds in spoken single-syllable words.
Orally produce single-syllable words by blending sounds (phonemes), including consonant blends.
Isolate and pronounce initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in spoken single-syllable words.
Segment spoken single-syllable words into their complete sequence of individual sounds (phonemes).
RF.1.3. Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
Know the spelling-sound correspondences for common consonant digraphs (two letters that represent one sound).
Decode regularly spelled one-syllable words.
2b. Orally produce single syllable words by blending sounds (phonemes), including consonant blends.
2d Segment spoken single-syllable words into their complete sequence of individual sounds.
Part IX: Technology (Session Five)
Include technology strategies you will use in your classroom here, noting also your access to computers and other required hardware. You may also consider using your newfound podcasting skills in a creative way to help students with phonemic awareness.
Student will have access to a computer to do the following:
- to listen to a cinchcast of the Old MacDonald Had a Box activity or other PA activities of the lesson
- to make a cinchcast of her own version of Old MacDonald Had a Box
-to access online games to reinforce PA skills
Part X: Reflection (Session Six)
Reflect on your phonemic awareness plans and the process of assessment, instruction, and reassessment of your student.
The assessment process provided valuable data from which to create a lesson plan. The assessment allowed me to target the specific phonemic awareness areas this student needed to further develop. In order for the phonemic awareness lesson plans to be successful I will have to effectively model each activity so the student will have a clear understanding of the procedure and the goal to be achieved. It would also be crucial to state the type of phonemic awareness activity being performed( i.e.” Now we are going to blend sounds to form words.”) The lesson plans are interactive and engaging rather than being drill-based. The follow-up activities of either decoding or encoding words will allow me to informally assess if these pa tasks are effectively providing the remediation this student requires.