Professional Development

A. Phonological Awareness Developmental Continuum

A. Phonological Awareness Developmental Continuum

Overview
Counting Syllables

Before students use their alphabet knowledge to read they must be aware of sound units in spoken language(speech). This awareness is called phonological awareness and specifically children must perceive the individual sounds in words that are spoken called phonemic awareness.

We will use a rocketship analogy to describe these important oral language skills. Think of the whole rocketship as phonological awareness which is the ability to think about and manipulate the sounds of language apart from their meaning. This includes phonological sensitivity to rhymes, syllables , and onset-rimes ( sub-syllabic elements). These larger units of sound in words are typically easier for young children to manipulate.

The very top of the rocketship, the capsule which separates from the rocket to reach a destination is phonemic awareness. This most important part skill allows one to perceive and manipulate individual sounds in words.

The phoneme is the smallest unit of speech that can distinct meaning. Change a phoneme and the word changes. For example, /c//a//t/ contains three phonemes and represents the little animal that says meow. Change one phoneme /c/ → /h/ and /h//a//t/ represents something you wear on your head.

B. Counting Syllables

B. Counting Syllables

Before students use their alphabet knowledge to read, they must be aware of sound units in spoken language such as rhyme and syllables. (speech). In this video the teacher demonstrates an engaging activity to teach students how to break a word apart into syllables. Students segment a word into syllables by clapping as they say each syllable. Then they count how many syllables are in a word and record the information in a vegetable bowl. The teacher is teaching vocabulary and awareness of syllables at the same time in the framework of a thematic unit of study.

C. Segmenting & Blending Onset-Rimes

C. Segmenting & Blending Onset-Rimes

An onset is the consonant part of a one-syllable word and the rime is the vowel part of the word In the word bat (the /b/ sound is the onset, and the /at/ is the rime). In this activity the teacher engages students in a chant about mailing a package. To guess the package students have to blend back the onset and rime of a word in order to recognize and choose the correct package
( e.g., The teachers says: “ch-imp” and the students say “chimp” and look for the package with a picture of a chimpanzee.)

D. Initial Sound Awareness

D. Initial Sound Awareness

The phoneme is the smallest unit of speech that can change the meaning of a word. If you change just one phoneme (sound) the word meaning changes. For example, cat /c//a//t/ contains three phonemes and represents the little animal that says meow. Change one phoneme /c/ → /h/ and /h//a//t/ represents something you wear on your head.
The first step towards phonemic awareness is hearing and isolating the first sound in a word.
This can be taught at the same time you are teaching each consonant sound and letter.
Activities can include:
1. Identify the first sound. Say a little bit of ...
2. Match the first sounds of objects or pictures.
3. Identify the odd one out: present 4 pictures or objects and students identify which word does not have the same beginning sound as the others.
4. I Spy With My Little Eye: Students look at a group of objects that begin with different sounds. The teacher says: I Spy With My Little Eye something that begins with________(make the initial sound).
5. All of the activities can be adapted to focus on final sounds too.

E. Connecting Phonemes with Letters

E. Connecting Phonemes with Letters

This video demonstrates how to use discs as concrete representations of sounds in words. On the Say-it and Move-it board the teacher moves discs to take apart (segment) and put back together (blend) sounds in a word. This activity helps develop students’ phonemic awareness as the discs are a visual and moveable representation of the sounds. This mimics the process of sounding out (decoding) words. In the lesson guides this activity is done with words students will read in the Stage 1 text. This gives students practice in blending sounds back together without the letters and will make it more likely that when reading and decoding words they will recognize the segmented word and blend it back. The second part of the activity is to map letters onto the sounds using the phoneme grapheme map. In a phoneme-grapheme map the boxes are sound boxes and each box contains a sound in the word. The teacher guides the students through the process of using the phoneme-grapheme map.