What is phonemic awareness and how does it transform reading? It is the most important
ingredient in the reading recipe, but it seems to be forgotten at times. Phonemic awareness
falls under the umbrella of phonological awareness, which is an awareness of every level in
the sound structures of our language.
What is Phonemic Awareness?
of the language. It is an understanding of the structure of the language. This includes knowing
that the language is made up of words and in turn, words are made up of parts that we call
syllables in addition to rhymes and other sounds. Before a student is able to understand written
language, they must have an understanding of the spoken language.
Why is Phonemic Awareness Important?
they are unable to understand and manipulate sounds, then they won’t be able to do anything with
them. They will be unable to hear the parts of a word, nor will they be able to blend a word together.
Research has shown that the best predictors of student’s reading success lie with their ability to
grasp phonemic awareness. When students arrive at school and their phonological awareness is
well-developed, then the probability of their success in making sense of how letters and sounds work
in print is high. It is necessary for students to be able to effectively use letter-sound correspondence
when it comes to reading and writing.
Phonemic Awareness in Whole Group
definitely bring in phonemic awareness elements into your whole group time. I like to do
this during our read-aloud time. This is not a time to be very specific, as the children in your
classroom will likely have diverse needs. I use this time to introduce new concepts, and kind of see
where my students are in general. It’s also good practice to incorporate phonemic awareness
activities into your daily reading time.
It is necessary to provide opportunities for children to develop their ear for language. Find all of
the stories that contain rhyming words and alliterations! As adults, we can be over these types of
books quickly, but they are a goldmine for students who are learning to listen inside of a word!
Include poems and silly songs as well. The good thing about poems and songs is that you can
put them on charts. Now yes, adding a visual brings in phonics, but for your students who are ready,
the visual aid is a good thing.
Phonemic Awareness in Small Group
begin each small group with about 5 minutes of phonemic awareness. Now for my students who
have none, we spend more time on it. At the beginning of the year, we focus on it a lot, because
knowing where my students are helps me to know who is ready to begin phonics. The easiest place
to begin is simple and quick phonemic awareness routines. It gives me a fast snapshot of where each