Welcome to another entry from Bradley School Kindergarten teacher Jenny Ames containing advice on how to play phoneme games with your child; an important part of the process of learning to read.
Before children learn to read, they need to become aware of how the sounds in words work. Words are made up of speech sounds, or phonemes (the smallest parts of sound in a spoken word that make a difference in a word's meaning). The ability to blend, delete, and manipulate sounds is known as phonemic awareness. It is the heart of literacy. Remember, phonemic awareness activities can be done in the dark. There are no letters in eyesight. That's phonics.
Here are some early phonemic awareness activities your family can spontaneously try anywhere from the car to the kitchen table! They are presented in order of difficulty with the easiest first.
1. Rhyming: First, let your child decide whether two words you speak rhyme. When that is mastered, move on to the child providing a rhyming word for a word you provide. Do not worry if the student produces a nonsense word.
2. Syllabication: Clap word parts with your child, or the opposite, provide a word broken up into syllables and have the students “slide” them together. Using names is fun.
3. Initial Sounds: Give your child a “sound stick” (fly swatter, giant pencil, fairy wand) and let them walk around the house tapping on items while identifying their first sound. Some students will be able to identify both the letter and the sound.
Students with strong phonemic awareness skills become the strongest readers.
If you have any questions, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org