Supporting PhonemicAwareness in the Classroom Final Project Ann Wilder
Final Project DirectionsAs a final project, you will develop plans for teaching phonemic awareness in yourclassroom, including plans for assessment procedures, analysis, and activities. This finalproject template will also include one example of a phonemic awareness assessment andanalysis on a student.Your plans should incorporate at least one of the technology tools explored in this courseand include details for other types of phonemic awareness strengthening activities.Complete this template as the course progresses. This template is due to your facilitatorat the end of Session Six. At that time, your facilitator will review your final project andprovide feedback for you in the Notes section.
Part I: General Information (Session One)GRADE:: KindergartenLESSON BLOCK LENGTH: 20 minutesOne way I might target phonemic awareness in a kindergarten class would be by introducing an object found in class, like a piece of paper. Iwould then say, “This is a paper. It begins with the sound /p/ . Paper” to isolate and draw attention to the initial sound /p/ . I would alsodraw attention to the way I was articulating the sound by pointing to my lips as I said /p/. I would ask the students to select an item withinthe room that started with a /p/ sound, like they heard in “paper”. The educators in the room would help guide the students if they didn’tinitially select an item with the correct sound, by asking them to look at their lips (the teacher’s lips and their own lips in a mirror) while theysay the item’s name and then contrasting the name of the item with the word paper. The children would gather the items, bring them back tothe circle, and show and say the name of the item with emphasis on the initial sound. Each student would listen and vote thumbs up orthumbs down to whether or not their peer had presented the correct sound.. I would want to make sure each child was successful in front oftheir peers so that they don’t feel discouraged or embarrassed if they didn’t grasp the concept immediately. To be certain that the studentswere able to discriminate the sound /p/ from another phoneme, I would include a few items with incorrect sounds that would be presented bymyself, a paraprofessional, or the classroom teacher.
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 toread? Do you currently assess student’s phonemic awareness? If not, what are the early indicators that allow you to identify if a student is atrisk of reading difficulty?I found the article The Importance of Phonemic Awareness in Learning to Read, by Wesley A. Hoover to be very interesting and after reading it Ifeel more confident in my ability to explain phonemic awareness. Phonemic awareness is an essential step in learning to read. A phoneme is thesmallest unit that carries linguistic meaning. When blended together phonemes form words. If a child is unable to discriminate, isolate, identifyand manipulate these sounds, it is likely that it will also be difficult for him to learn to read and write, as the letters in our language arerepresentative of the phonemes. The understanding that these phonemes carry meaning is crucial. Without this understanding, a child mightnot understand the need to pronounce (and in the later stages, spell) all the phonemes within a word. Many of the students on my caseloadhave “phonological processing disorders” and their speech is unintelligible not because they are unable to articulate the sounds, but becausethey have not internalized that each sound is important to the meaning. For example, a child might omit the /s/ in the word “spin” producing anentirely different word “pin”, and without direct instruction, they won’t understand that the meaning has changed. I have had a fewopportunities to assess students’ phonemic awareness within brief subtests included in speech and language assessments, such as the ClinicalEvaluation of Language Fundamentals-Fourth Edition, however this task usually falls to the reading specialists in the schools I have worked. Earlyindicators that would suggest that a student I was working with might be at risk for reading difficulty would be speech sound disorders,phonological processing disorders (as mentioned above), as well as overall language issues.
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?The Yopp article provided many wonderful activities that I am excited to incorporate into my lessons. As a specialist, my goal is to find activities that not only target the goals and objectives on my students’ IEPs, but to also incorporate the curriculum and standards from their classroom. The activities that I was especially excited about implementing with my students, involved the syllable manipulation. I liked the ideas about clapping out syllables, using cubes or other manipulative to represent each syllable in a word, and thought the idea of doing a whole body action for each syllable of a word would go over really well with some of my students who benefit from a lot gross motor activity to keep their bodies organized and their minds engaged. While targeting syllable manipulation, I could also target students’ IEP goals relative to their speech. I have had students who simplified the production of a word by omitting a syllable (such as producing “banana” as “nana” or “pajamas” as “jamas”). I would demonstrate how many words consist of more than one syllable or parts. I would first demonstrate by clapping out each syllable while saying the name of a variety of objects in the room. I would then ask the child to follow along with me. I could use the ideas in the Yopp article to further demonstrate and mark each syllable in the words we were targeting.When working within a student on my caseload’s class, I sometimes like to do a group lesson that will help out my particular student as well as add to the learning experience of the entire class. In that situation I don’t always know the other students very well and have never assessed them. In that case, I would select an activity that was somewhat easier, such as matching and then isolating initial sounds. If my student is working on using the /f/ phoneme, I might use the idea of the Hungry Thing and instead of doing sound manipulation, I might initially have a bunch of items displayed and say that the monster’s name is Finn and he only likes to eat things that start with the /f/ sound, like in his name. I would begin the lesson with saying the name of the item a child selected and ask the class if it started the same as “Finn”. After a few rounds I would determine if we needed to make the activity more challenging. I would switch to asking sound the child heard at the beginning of the name of the item and ask if it began with the target sound /f/ the monster could eat it.
Part IV: Audio Recording Practice (Session Two)Share your URL to your practice audio recording here:http://cinch.fm/awilderslp/536064Reflect on this practice. How do you imagine audio recordings will help you teach and your students learn about phonemic awareness? I would imagine that this could be a really useful tool for teaching about phonemic awareness. If I was working with a large group of children, I could break some off to a listening center to listen to a podcast I had created. The podcasts could introduce a skill or reinforce a skill. I could even create different lessons that my students could go home and do with their parents to reinforce what we had done in class. So many different phonemic awareness skills could be targeted, including identifying phonemes as same or different, identifying rhymes, identifying the number of phonemes in a word. I bet my students would also enjoy creating their own recordings. I can imagine students pairing off and recording themselves as they come up with rhyming words, words that start with the same phonemes, or “quizzing” each other on the number of phonemes in a variety of words. There are a multitude of ways this technology could be incorporated into teaching about phonemic awareness.
Part V: Student Assessment (Session Three)I will be using the Younger Student Pre-Assessment to evaluate my 6y8m old daughters phonemic awarenesshttp://cinch.fm/awilderslp/phonemic-awareness-course/537332
Part VI: Analysis (Session Three)In my analysis of my daughters phonemic awareness, I found that she was secure in her ability to recognize rhymes and with matching a phoneme sound with an image. When asked what sound "insect" began with she was able to answered with the short i sound and with "plate" she reduced the blend to just /p/. I discovered that her sound blending skills seem to be developing well. She got 6/8 correct and her errors were with ending sounds. On "train", she ended the sound with /k/ so Im not sure if she didnt hear me correctly or if she couldnt hold all the sound in her memory to blend. My guess is the former since she got harder words with more sounds, such as "shrimp" and "black" correct. She also missed the ending /t/ in "reached“. The area that my daughter had the most difficulty, was with phoneme segmentation fluency. On that part of the assessment she got 60/75 sounds. Analysis of her errors showed a pattern of blending ending sounds together, such as /n/ and /d/ in ground, as well as reverting to a more onset/rime pattern, for example "seen" was produced as /s/ plus /een/. Based on the results of this assessment I will be targeting phoneme segmentation when we begin our lessons.
Part VII: Strategies (Session Four)To target segmentation of phonemes I will use a list of real word and nonsense word lists that were part of the summer lists sent home with all kindergarten students. In my first activity I will utilize colored beads as a visual and tactile marker of the individual phonemes. I will start by reviewing how words are made up of different sounds that we call “phonemes.” I will remind my student how earlier we blended the phonemes to make words and demonstrate with an easy CVC word, such as cat or dog. For example, I will demonstrate by saying the individual phonemes taking a bead and setting it in front of me for each sound. I would then push the beads together, either just on the table or on a string if I could be certain the fine motor task of stringing the beads wouldn’t over complicate the task for the individual child, to illustrate the blending of the phonemes together to produce the target word.Following the review, I would introduce the segmentation task. I would remind the student again that words are made up of individual sounds called “phonemes” . I would demonstrate the task by saying another easy CVC word and moving a bead forward from a pile for each phoneme. For example, I would say, “When I say the word ‘cap’ I hear 3 different phonemes, /k/ /a/ /p/ ‘cap’” using a bead to show each sound and then sliding my finger below them to blend them back together to reform the word. I would start with CVC words and move on to words that included a blend for more of a challenge.Another way I would target this skill, would be within a gross motor game similar to “Mother May I” or “Red Light Green Light.” I would again tell my student that words are made up of individual phonemes. I would demonstrate with a CVC word, saying the word and hopping forward as I said each phoneme and saying the word again. I think this activity would be a good movement activity for the sensory seeking students I frequently work with and the game aspect would help with motivation.Once my student was secure in segmenting tasks, I would move on to phoneme manipulation.
Part VII: Strategies, cont. (Session Four)When developing these lessons I considered that many of my students are receiving other services, such as occupational or physical therapy. I was imagining that the techniques I used might carryover well into a co-treatment session. Using the beads in the segmenting task, the OT could work on fine motor skills, such as pincer grasp and hand eye coordination, while I was targeting the literacy task as well as possible articulation issues. The gross motor game could be incorporated into a co-treatment session with a physical therapist. I believe that this would help with carryover of skills because they would be worked on in multiple environments and it would increase efficiency because we are able to target multiple skills within a single activity. I also tried to keep the materials simple. I wanted items that could be found in multiple settings (not just the classroom) or didn’t require any specific materials. This was important to me because I don’t always work in the same room or location. I wanted the activities to be things I could recreate in whatever setting I was in at the moment and activities that could be shared easily with parents so skills could continue to be worked on at home.I found the Yopp article to be a wonderful resource when developing these tasks. I also tried to use the activities that were presented on this http://www.readingresource.net/phonemicawarenessactivities.html as my guide.
Part VIII: Common Core Standards (Session Four)The Common Core Standards were under Kindergarten and First Grade Phonological Awareness.2. Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes).b. Count, pronounce, blend and segment. (Kindergarten)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/.) (Kindergarten)b. Orally produce single syllable words by blending sounds (phonemes), including consonant blends. (First Grade)c. Isolate and pronounce initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in spoken single-syllable words. (First Grade)d. Segment spoken single-syllable words into their complete sequence of individual sounds (phonemes). (First Grade)Massachusetts Proposed Additional StandardsMA.PK.R.F.2 Phonological awareness: Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes).
Part IX: Technology (Session Five)Unfortunately, at this time I do not have access to many technologies in my own work space, however I learned within this course that I should look for an pursue grants for technology. Using what I currently have available to me, I will set up a separate desktop for my students on my teacher computer so that my students can use programs and read documents without having access to my private files. When working with a small group, I would like to use the various websites presented in this course, especially the PBS kids one (http://pbskids.org/island/) and the Quia website that was developed by a fellow speech-language pathologist ( http://www.quia.com/pages/pbordasphonemic.html) and allow my students opportunities to independently work on a skill while working with other students on skills that continue to need strengthening.I was disappointed to hear that the Cinch website will no longer be operating, but am excited to try out http://www.ipadio.com/ . I will use this technology to allow students to record themselves as they participate in rhyming, alliteration, sound isolating, segmenting, blending, and various other phonemic awareness tasks. I think they will find it motivating to use the technology, it will allow them some auditory feedback as they listen to themselves, and it will allow me to monitor their skills level if I am not always able to work directly with them. I also think I could use podcasting to present new information to parents and develop extension activities that can be done at home related to what we have been working on that week.
Part X: Reflection (Session Six)In the past seven weeks I feel that I have really developed in my knowledge of phonemic awareness and best practices for targeting skills to promote literacy. Taking this class as a speech-language pathologist, and not a classroom teacher, initially made me a little worried. Having completed these weeks, however, I feel more confident in how my unique skills connect to the establishment of literacy and that many activities that I would normally do with a student with articulation or phonological processing disorders can also be used to target the phonemic awareness skills that are important for a student learning to read. When I perform these activities with my caseload, I will be explicit when explaining why we are working on a particular skill as it is important for them to understand that these speech and language skills are also critical skills for learning to read. I feel prepared to utilize what I learned in this course to perform assessments, develop lessons, tie them into my specific skill area (speech/language), and justify my role.I was not very familiar with the Core Standards, but they will be my “go to” from now on when I am writing goals and objectives on student IEPs; I am already targeting many of those skills but I think it will be beneficial to all parties working with the student to use common language (plus it will save me time with figuring out the perfect wording!). From looking through IEPs at my new position, I can see that they already are writing IEPs in this way.I had thought I was pretty proficient with technology and thought I was more knowledgeable about methods for maintaining confidentiality. I never really considered that a student could access my files if I allowed him to use my computer or how important it was to have a special email, separate from my personal email, for creating and accessing online technology. It also never occurred to me to look for grants so that I could have the same resources as other professionals in my building. This will be a goal of mine when I return to school.I am looking forward to applying what I have learned about phonemic awareness when I return to work and to continue my education with the next course in this series.