Awareness in the Classroom
Final Project Template
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.
Part I: General Information
LESSON BLOCK LENGTH: 20 mins
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.
Every morning in the Journeys curriculum the children are asked to perform various phonemic awareness tasks. Ex: rhyming, first sound, last
sound, medial sound, blending, etc
The children in my class take part in learning centers daily in their literacy block. The centers vary based on the skills being taught. They may
be asked to match rhyming cards, identify beginning sounds in words when given a picture, count the sounds they hear in a word and identify
medial or final sounds in words when given a picture or hearing the word verbally.
Phonemic awareness is the most important concept being taught in kindergarten.
Part II: Phonemic Awareness
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?
I read the article Phonemic Awareness by the University of Oregon. This article had two sections that really stood out to me: What is phonemic
awareness and examples of phonemes and phonemic awareness skills. In the section what is phonemic awareness, the author said that
phonemic awareness is a strong predictor of children who experience early reading success. I agree with this statement whole heartedly. As a
kindergarten teacher phonemic awareness is explicitly taught everyday. We work on rhyming, initial sound, medial sound, final sound, blending,
segmenting, etc. These skills are worked on orally because phonemic awareness is the ability to hear and manipulate spoken sounds. The ability
to hear sounds in words will later help students transfer the sounds to letters or phonemes. As the school year moves on the phonemic
awareness skills get more difficult because the children are beginning to transfer what they learned about phonemic awareness into phonics.
From my experience children who struggle with phonemic awareness also struggle with reading and writing.
In the section examples of phonemes and phonemic awareness skills, the author says children with poor phonemic awareness skills cannot group
words with similar and dissimilar sounds, blend sounds into words or segment a word as a sequence of sounds. These are all important
phonemic awareness skills that children must have to be successful readers and writers. I currently assess my students phonemic awareness skills
by using an assessment called Dibels Next. The Dibels Next assessment tests students abilities in first sound fluency, the students are read a
word and have to tell the teacher the first sound in the word. Letter naming assesses the student on how many letters they can name in one
minute. Another assessment in Dibels Next is Phoneme Segmentation Fluency, this subtest assesses whether a student can segment a word read
to them, for example man /m/ /a/ /n/. The final subtest is nonsense word fluency, the students have to read or say the sounds in make believe
words. All of these subtests require the students to complete within one minute. One thing I do notice while administering this assessment is
children who are good at segmenting words and reading make believe words often are the children reading at a higher level by the end of the
Part III: Linguistic Components
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? How could the activity address the standards?
After reviewing the Yopp article I found that there were two activities that I thought would work well in my classroom. The first activity
that try in my classroom is, Teacher, May We?. It looks like a fun phonemic awareness activity to do with my class. I think this activity
would be very easy to incorporate into my current curriculum. In the article, this activity tells you to be working on syllables, but I think
you could use this activity to cover many of the phonemic awareness skills taught in kindergarten. I would like to try this activity with
blending sounds. The second activity that I would like to use in my classroom is Going on a Word Hunt. This activity is hands on and
engaging. The children need to listen to what the teacher cue is and respond appropriately. This activity can be done with blending onset
and rime and blending phonemes.
I think both of these activities would benefit my students. The Going on a Word Hunt activity would probably benefit my students most
at this time of the year because we are doing a lot of reading and writing on our own and they need a lot of practicing blending
phonemes. Both of these activities address the common core state standards as seen in RF.MA.2: Demonstrate understanding of spoken
words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes).a .Recognize and produce rhyming words. b. Count, pronounce, blend, and segment syllables in
spoken words. c. Blend and segment onsets and rimes of single-syllable spoken words. d. Isolate and pronounce the initial, medial vowel,
and final sounds (phonemes) in three-phoneme (consonant-vowel-consonant, or CVC) words.* (This does not include CVCs ending
with /l/, /r/, or /x/.). e. Add or substitute individual sounds (phonemes) in simple, one-syllable words to make new words.
Part IV: Audio Recording Practice
If you used an audio recording tool that provides an URL please share it here. If not upload it as an audio file here and in
the discussion forum.
Reflect on this practice. How do you imagine audio recordings will help you teach and your students learn about
phonemic awareness? I think audio recordings will help me hear how I sound to my students. I will be able to hear if I am saying the
phonemes correctly. My students will benefit from this practice because I will be able to make sure that I am articulating all the
phonemes. While teaching and learning phonemic awareness it is very important to take your time and say each sound clearly and slowly.
What struggles did you or your students face or could face? I struggled with hearing my voice on a recording. I will say knowing
that I had to record myself, I did speak more clearly. I think some of my students might struggle with being recorded because it will
distract them from the task they are intended to complete.
Part V: Student Assessment
Which assessment will you be using on your student? I am going to be using DIBELS Next. I teach kindergarten and we have to
administer 3 subtests in the spring as an end of the year benchmark assessment. The subtests that we perform in the spring with each student
are: Letter naming fluency, phoneme segmentation fluency and nonsense words fluency.
Insert the URL of your audio-recorded assessment with a student here or upload audio file here and in the discussion
Voice 002.m4a Voice 003.m4a Voice 004.m4a
Part VI: Analysis
After completing an assessment on a student or small child, you will reflect on their scores using the appropriate
worksheet. Please upload the worksheets in the discussion forums if possible.
What stands out to you most? I completed the DIBELS Next end of the year benchmark assessment with a 6 year old, native English
speaking boy named Bryan in my kindergarten class. After reviewing my analysis on this child, I noticed that he made some recurring
errors in the phoneme segmentation fluency subtest. He often said the sound /t/ for /d/ and /v/ for /f/. For example he said /p/ /l/ /ai/
/t/ for the word played. In the nonsense word fluency subtest, I noticed that he often did not read the /e/ sound correctly. Instead of
reading the word pez he said pz. He substituted the/a/ sound for/e/ on a few occasions. Overall, I would say that he performed very
well on all the subtests. His scores were as follows:
Letter naming fluency: 64 letters in one minute
Phoneme segmentation fluency: 67 sounds in one minute
Nonsense word fluency: 73 (CLS) correct letter sounds and 23 (WWR) whole
Reflect on the areas of student strength. Bryan did very well naming his letters. He only missed one letter and he called the letter
l an I, which is a common kindergarten mistake. I also think he has a strong knowledge of phoneme segmentation. He is able to
segment words like /k/ /l/ /o/ /k/ and /h/ /oa/ /l/ /z/ with ease. He is a great reader because he has begun to master this skill, which
can be difficult for kindergarten students. The nonsense word fluency subtest was an area where Bryan performed very well. I was
impressed that he was able to read 23 word in one minute. The benchmark for the end of kindergarten is 7, so he did very well on this
subtest. Overall I think Bryan did very well on this performance assessment.
Reflect on the areas of student weakness. Bryan’s area of weakness is producing the correct letter sound at the end of the word in
the phoneme segmentation subtest, for example he substituted the /f/ in the word wife for /v/. He also struggled some with medial
sounds in the nonsense word fluency subtest, substituting /u/ for /e/ and /a/ for /e/. I would like to work on medial vowel sounds with
Bryan to help him read the words more accurately. I think he would also benefit from more phoneme segmentation practice.
Part VII: Strategies
Include strategies you will use in your classroom here.
Products and Performances: The student will be given picture card, letter tiles, Elkonin boxes, bingo chips and domino picture cards.
My students will be completing picture sorts and phoneme matching using medial sound dominos. I will also use Elkonin boxes to have
the children isolate the medial sounds in words.
Questions relevant to your lesson: Are students able to match the medial phoneme in a word? Are students able to isolate the
medial sounds in the words?
Instructional Strategies: I will deliberately teach my students how to form the vowel sounds we are working on, /e/ and/u/, using
their mouth. We will work on what makes the sounds different and we will talk about what we notice we do with our mouth while
forming each sound. It is important for the children to recognize that when you form sounds your mouth moves differently for each
Specific Skills to be developed: My students will be learning to isolate phonemes.
Part VII: Strategies, cont.
Include strategies you will use in your classroom here.
Activities and procedures Before starting the lesson I will choose a small group of children, who are all on a similar level. I chose to
complete a vowel picture sort with these students. I decided since it is kindergarten, I wanted to focus on the short vowel sounds. I
focused on the sounds /u/ and /e/ for this lesson. I placed a picture of a bell for the /e/ sound and gum for the /u/ sound on top of a
table. The children were given picture cards, I told them the name of each picture card before beginning the activity and the children had
to figure out if the word had a medial sound /e/ or /u/. The children worked together to segment the word into phonemes. They used
the vowel /e/ and /u/ letter tiles to show the group which vowel sound they thought was in the middle of the word. After the group
discussed the correct letter sound, they then placed the picture car under the appropriate header, bell /e/ or gum /u/.
Extensions and modifications: An extension to this activity would be working with medial phoneme dominoes, a set of domino
picture cards, the students would have to match medial vowel sound in the pictures. A modification for this activity would be to give the
students Elkonin boxes and have them place a bingo chip in each box as they hear the sounds in the word. I will then focus on the medial
vowel sound and review what sound it makes with the group. These children would be working on two skills, phoneme segmentation and
Materials and resources needed: The students would need picture cards, letter tiles, Elkonin boxes, bingo chips and domino picture
Websites used: www.fcrr.org
References (copyright needed?) www.fcrr.org 2006 The Florida Center for Reading Research (Revised July, 2007)
Part VIII: Common Core Standards
Please list all relevant State Standards here. (Please specify your state and provide state standards website URL)
My state is Massachusetts and our standards are found on the website: http://www.doe.mass.edu/frameworks/current.html
MA.2. Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes). b. Count, pronounce, blend, and segment syllables in
spoken words. d. Isolate and pronounce the initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in three-phoneme (consonant-vowel-
consonant, or CVC) words.* (This does not include CVCs ending with /l/, /r/, or /x/.)
MA.3. Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words. a. Demonstrate basic knowledge of one-to-one letter-
sound correspondences by producing the primary sound or many of the most frequent sounds for each consonant. b. Associate the long
and short sounds with common spellings (graphemes) for the five major vowels.
Part IX: Technology
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.
I have two computers in my classroom that I use as a center. I have two students work together at each computer. The children take turns
using the website that I put on for them. We also go to the computer lab every other week for 45 minutes to work on the following
websites. I have different websites that I use for the skills that we are working on. A list of phonemic awareness sites and games are as
• Readwritethink.org has a picture match game that helps students sort pictures based on beginning sounds, long and short vowel
• Readingeggs.com is a great site because each student has an account that you are able to check their progress. I love the fact that they
are able to progress at their own speed.
• Starfall.com has an array of different game to help students work on the skills they need to master. Some students may be working on
letter sounds, while others are starting to read on their own. There is something for everyone on this website.
I hope to get a smart board or a projector in the future so I will be able to pull up my lessons from the Journeys reading program and work with
all the different resources they have available on their website.
Part X: Reflection
Please use this section to reflect on your phonemic awareness plans and the process you have undergone in this course.
Include the key points of your learning and how it will change your classroom instruction.
Something I found to be eye opening was how important it is to teach your students the correct letter sounds. I always thought I said the letter
sounds correctly, until I had to record myself saying the sounds of all the phonemes. I know now how important it is to teach them the
sounds slowly and carefully. I will be recording the way I sound periodically now, to make sure I am speaking correctly. I noticed a lot of
my students confused the sound /t/ with /d/. When segmenting the word pushed, many students said /p/ /u/ /sh/ /t/. After listening
to the way I said the sounds of the phonemes I realized I did not always make a clear distinction between the sounds. The students in my
class often struggle with medial sounds and I realize I probably did not spend enough time distinguishing the different sounds that the
vowels make. That is why I have decided to devote more time to vowel instruction next year.
This course has made me realize that I have many strengths and weaknesses as a teacher. I know I spend a lot of time directly teaching
phonemic awareness in a large group, but after taking this class I realize that it is even more important to spend the time in small groups
as well. Small group instruction is often an area I struggle with due to high class sizes (23-24 kids). Next year I look forward to using
what I learned from this course in center activities. I plan on using the websites we reviewed and the games we read about. I think whole
group instruction is great, but it is even better to work with children in a small group setting daily because you are able to get a better feel
for what each student truly knows and can do.
The final part of the coursework is to create a file of all the components of your lesson and upload it in the assignment
section or in the discussion forum in Session 6 on the main course page.
This file should include, but not limited to:
1. Formal Lesson Write-up
a. Including student grade and level
b. Standards addressed in lesson
c. Goals and Objectives
d. Skills addressed
e. Clear presentation of the direct instruction
f. Materials and Resources
g. Follow-up and Assessment
2. All printed materials used in lesson
3. Provide a short explanation of the purpose of the lesson based on prior needs and