Adventures in Literacy Land: Phonemic Awareness

Showing posts with label Phonemic Awareness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Phonemic Awareness. Show all posts

Sound Boxes: Listening for Sounds

Sound boxes help students attend to sounds in words to help them read and write them.

One of the things I love to do with students is to help them manipulate phonemes in words.  This helps them to think about the sounds they hear in the words and gain a better understanding of words. As they work with the sounds, they can actually attend to the sounds and make words.


Phonics Tubs

This is Jessica here, from Hanging Out in First!  I haven't been with you in a while but I am back with a big announcement.  I am moving to Kindergarten this year.

As a result, I am spending my summer reworking a lot of my lessons, centers, etc.  I have not taught Kindergarten before, so this will be a new experience for me!

One of my biggest summer projects is Phonics Tubs.  My phonics tubs are starting with letter sounds, but I may eventually branch out to word families, digraphs, short/long vowel sounds, etc.

I have seen many versions of these that you can purchase on TPT or on sites like Lakeshore but they have their downfalls.  Lakeshore is crazy expensive and TPT (as much as I love them) are going to be flat pictures.  I want something tactile!  So after much research, I settled on making my own.

I started at the Dollar Tree.  I picked up these little containers - 4 for a dollar.  Heck yeah!  That is in my price range.  While I was there, I perused the toy aisle for a bit.  I found lots of options for items to put in my bins, but decided to only pick up a few things because I still wasn't entirely sure what I wanted it to look like.  I needed to do a little more planning first.

I went home and made a list of possible items that I could put into each tub.  I was making 26 tubs for each of the 26 letters.  Some letters were pretty easy to brainstorm; others, not so much.

Then I headed into Michaels....just to see what they had.  I knew they had all of those little animal figures (animals are an obvious choice to start with) but I wasn't sure of the price.  What I did find, was even more amazing than I imagined!  BUTTONS!  Michaels has all of these little packs of buttons that are "themed."  I love that I didn't have to buy a bag of 12 soccer ball buttons to get one soccer ball.  I was able to pick up a bag of sports themed buttons and get a soccer ball, a football, a baseball, a bat, etc, all for $2.  I also got some animal buttons, food buttons, girly buttons, etc.

I totally forgot to take a picture before ripping into all of these lovelies in my excitement, but here is a picture of a couple of them out of the package.  Aren't they cute??

While I was there, I also found these adorbs letter stickers for only $2!  Beats having to make my own.  They were perfect for the front of my tubs. Great shopping!

Next, I cleaned out my kids' toy box.  Man they have so much junk many potential phonics tub toys and treasure box toys.  I found cars, trucks, flags, balls, lizards, dinosaurs, legos, blocks, and more!  (I have three boys. Can you tell?)

Last stop, Party City.  They have an entire aisle of party favors that are perfect for this!  You can get them individually for 30 cents a piece (so again, you can buy the one that you need without having to spend a dollar on 5).   Look at all of these little trinkets I picked up.  Only $20!

My tubs are nearly complete now.  I just have to find some items for those hard letters (x, y, z, q).  For those, I may have to resort to some printed pictures, but that's okay.
 (You can see I have even started gathering a few items for digraph tubs!)

So how will I use these fancy schmancy tubs you ask?  I have so many ideas for them!  The most obvious is at a center, the students can dump two tubs and then sort them by sound.  But I am also thinking that I can use them for quick phonemic awareness lessons, like I pull one from a tub and if it makes the sound we are learning, the students give me a thumbs up/thumbs down.  I can use them during guided reading groups for letter sounds.  I can use them during guided writing or dictation by having students pull an item and write the letter that makes that sound.  It could even be in writing center, where students have to pull an item and write about it.  I think these are going to be a great addition to our classroom learning!


Ways to Teach Phonemic Awarenss

Aloha from Hawaii Virginia, or should I say, "Howdy Partners?"  It is Carla from Comprehension Connection here again to get the Summer Blog Party Linky up and going on Lit Land. Since we had two topics basically this week, it seemed fitting to blog about one here and the other over on my blog.
If phonics fits your students' needs more, you can read all about Word Study tips [here] and if phonemic awareness hits your level of students, then let's get this round up rollin'.

Developing phonemic awareness in preschool and kindergarten is important. Read this post for phonemic awareness activities you might try out.

Here at Literacy Land, we have had a few posts focused on phonemic awareness that are rootin' and tootin and ready for you. The first was [THIS POST] by Wendy at Read with Me ABC.  She explained what phonemic awareness was and how it differs from phonics. She explained how it's developed with children and shared a few resources that could be used. It was an excellent post.

Tara from Looney's Lit Blog wrote up a second to share how she addresses phonological awareness with her students who begin a little bit behind. You can check out her post [HERE] to see a few activity types in action.

Post number three came on Monday with Jennifer's Move! Groove! Read! post. If you missed it, be sure to head back and check it out. It brought back memories of childhood for me with all the little jingles she shared. Who knew that chants and jump rope jingles could lead to beginning reading skills. 

So what else can we do to make phonemic awareness learning fun? After all, it is our very youngest learners who need these lessons, so it should show them how all learning is fun. The answer...word play, music, poetry, and rhymes. Phonemic awareness includes rhyming, identifying orally beginning sounds, endings, and syllables, and blending/segmenting sounds.  Phonemic awareness activities often include pictures or other manipulatives.

Oh what fun, rhyming is, and there are many great ways to work on it. First of all, reading to your students is a great way to model rhyme and so many other skills for that matter.  Below, you'll find great books to use throughout the year.
In addition to these great books, you might also give these websites a try.

There are so many options for teaching ideas in the classroom too.  You might consider rhyming baskets with objects that rhyme (.plastic bats, cats, and mini hats say) that your students can sort. Matching pictures of rhyming words in a pocket chart or better yet, lay the pictures on the floor and have students play Twister with them (small # of students and controlled of course) or "Hop on the Word that Rhymes with ??" Children also love playing "Odd One Out" with pictures or orally.  

Young students need to recognize that sounds come together to form words, and the best way to help develop that recognition is with adding and subtracting sounds orally through word play. For blending, you might try the following.

Guess the Word

Place a poster of a playground slide in front of the students and run your finger down the slide as you stretch the sounds of words our orally. Have your students copy you, and then, have them say the word ssssstttttaaaaammmmppppp. Together:  Stamp!

Push and Say

I love push and say because the strategy can be used later with phonics when we add letters. For Push and Say, students use poker chips or counters as sounds are made to put them together and segment them. Teachers can use the idea above with the chips or have students place chips in Elkonin boxes for segmenting. With both, I emphasize what is happening in the mouth.  

Songs and Movement

Using common tunes such as Ring Around the Rosie or London Bridges makes phoneme blending light and fun. Here's an example to London Bridges...
Do you know the word I make?
Word I make?
Word I make?
Do you know the word I make?
Share it now.

Book Choices You Might Explore

Developing phonemic awareness in preschool and kindergarten is important. Read this post for phonemic awareness activities you might try out.

For more ideas on phonemic awareness development, check out all of the great PA posts from this week's linky, and come back next week to hear about new books to Fire Up Your Readers!  


Using Music to Teach Reading Skills

Hi everyone! It's Bex here from Reading and Writing Redhead. You probably know by now but I love finding creative ways to teach reading and I love bringing other types of learning into the classroom beyond the basics that I have to teach. Today I have some ideas to share with you about using music to teach reading skills.

Ask yourself, how many children know the alphabet at a young age- age two  for example? Probably most of them know it because someone thought to set the alphabet to the song "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". The tune, the rhythm, even the rhyme, helps ingrain the letters in kids' brains.

Music can be used to help students learn the alphabet,  the sounds of letters, develop phonemic awareness, build phonics skills and vocabulary and more! There are many songs to teach grammar skills and folks have used nursery rhymes as songs to teach basic spelling patterns and print conventions. Fountas and Pinnell once wrote that our students should "sing songs of such delight that the lyrics remain in the memory forever". What songs do you still remember from school (Hello Conjunction Junction!)?

Besides listening to songs, singing songs, and watching music videos, some teachers have their students rewrite familiar songs as a lesson to learn sounds or rhymes.

I found a great website that is an amazing resource of songs for teachers. It's called Songs for Teaching: Using Music to Reinforce Learning. It is a treasure trove of songs and song lyrics (click on any title to hop over and see the song).  There are songs that teach the alphabet letters such as Fran Avni's Dinosaurs to Dinner.  There are songs specifically for vowels and consonants such as  Get Your Own Goat by Avni and Vowel Sound Hound Dogs 1.  A song I plan to use this week is one for R controlled vowels called Rock and Roll Star by Fun Phonics Songs.

With all the technology out there, maybe you are able to show videos to your class. Here are just a very few on what seems like millions of videos, new and old, that use music to teach reading skills.

Want a new twist on the alphabet? Try Usher's Alphabet Song! (by the way, does Elmo's voice scare anyone else's dog?)

Phonics Songs with 2 Words

Electric Company-  Silent e - I bet you remember this:  "Who can turn a can into a can, who can turn a pan into a pane?"

Schoolhouse Rock - Lolly Lolly Lolly Get Your Adverbs Here 

Schoolhouse Rock - A Noun is a Person Place or Thing

Schoolhouse Rock Conjunction Junction- the sentimental favorite!

Electric Company's  N Apostrophe T: I personally played this several times this year and my students love it! Who needs fancy technology to enjoy music and a video (and learn while we're at it)?

Beans and Franks TV - Rhymes

Ocoee Middle School's Gotta Keep Reading: A fun, creative take on Black Eyed Peas' I Gotta Feeling which is really fun, catchy, and inspires kids to read (great to motivate them for the summer break) !

Finally here are a few music teachers' blogs. They are worth a look, even if you're not a music teacher. Teacher blogs are always full of treasures!

Amy Abbott's Music a la Abbot 
Tanya's Kodaly Inspired Blog 
Lindsay Jervis's Pursuit of Joyfulness
A collaborative music teacher blog: Kodaly Corner 
Mrs. Miracle's Music Room 
Allison's Music Blog

I hope  you have a few new ideas for how to incorporate music in your reading lessons. How do you use music in your teaching? Please comment below and let us know!


Five {Freebies} for Friday

If you visited Literacy Land yesterday, then you already had a sneak peek at today's topic.  In yesterday's {post}, we discussed the differences in phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, and phonics.  I promised to be back again today with a follow-up post to share five fabulous freebies.

Freebie #1 is being offered by Em from Curious Firsties.  She wrote a guest blog post for Reading Toward the Stars describing how she makes the most out of the phonological awareness portion of her guided reading lesson.  Em has 3-5 precious minutes to develop PA, so her instruction must be meaningful and effective.  You can read all about the fun her students have with nursery rhymes and pick up this rhyming {freebie} while you're at it.  

Sound Boxes can be a great tool to use for teaching phonemic segmentation. Freebie #2 is being offered by Lori from Conversations in Literacy.  This set has four different monster themed sound boxes.  As you say a word, students slide tokens into a sound box for each sound they hear. Click on the picture to download.

Who doesn't love coloring Easter eggs?  These Dippin' Eggs take sound boxes to the next level.  Students will learn to segment and write words in a super fun way!  Freebie #3 comes to you from Jennie @ JD's Rockin' Readers.  If you like this activity, be sure to pick up Jennie's other free holiday themed sound boxes.

Update: This freebie has expired.
Emily from The Reading Tutor OG is offering her Phoneme Segmentation Cards as a freebie for a limited time only.  

Build and strengthen phonemic awareness with this awesome product, but's only free through Sunday. 

Update: This freebie has expired.
Phonemic awareness is essential in the development of spelling and phonics skills.  It's important for teachers to make the connection between phonemes and graphemes.  Carla from Comprehension Connection is offering our final freebie of the day.  This making words activity pack has color-coded letter tiles for students to manipulate.  Students can sound-stretch words, spell them with tiles, and write them on white boards.  It's yours free only through Sunday.

Over the course of the last two days, I hope I've offered you a few ideas that you can add to your teacher's toolbox.

If you download a freebie and love what you see, please leave the author some friendly feedback as a token of your appreciation.  :)

Have a fabulous Friday!

Freebie Fridays