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The art of teaching reading is like weaving a beautiful tapestry. Like every tapestry, reading knowledge is made up of tightly woven, strong foundational threads. Each thread must be present to make the tapestry strong, able to withstand lifelong use, and functional through all seasons.

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Fab five of literacy phonemic awareness

The art of teaching reading is like weaving a beautiful tapestry. Like every tapestry, reading knowledge is made up of tightly woven, strong foundational threads. Each thread must be present to make the tapestry strong, able to withstand lifelong use, and functional through all seasons.

The Threads of Reading

K. Tankersley


Fab five of literacy phonemic awareness

Fab Five of Literacy: Phonemic Awareness tapestry. Like every tapestry, reading knowledge is made up of tightly woven, strong foundational threads. Each thread must be present to make the tapestry strong, able to withstand lifelong use, and functional through all seasons.

Developed by

Meredith Parrish and Erin McClure


Questions to consider
Questions to Consider tapestry. Like every tapestry, reading knowledge is made up of tightly woven, strong foundational threads. Each thread must be present to make the tapestry strong, able to withstand lifelong use, and functional through all seasons.

  • What are phonemes and what is phonemic awareness?

  • How does phonemic awareness help young children learn to read?

  • How can teachers help students develop phonemic awareness?


Fab five of literacy phonemic awareness

Research says…: tapestry. Like every tapestry, reading knowledge is made up of tightly woven, strong foundational threads. Each thread must be present to make the tapestry strong, able to withstand lifelong use, and functional through all seasons.

  • Phonemic Awareness is the most potent predictor of success in learning to read (Stanovich 1994)

  • Lack of phonemic awareness is the most powerful determinant of the likelihood of failure to learn to read (Adams 1990).

  • Children who are taught to separate words into sounds and blend sounds into words are better at reading words (Torgesen, Morgan, and Davis 1992).

  • About 20 minutes a day, 3-4 times a week, will result in dramatic improvement for kids who need further development in phonemic awareness (National Reading Panel 2000)


Fab five of literacy phonemic awareness

Begin with easier levels of phonemic awareness such as identifying the initial sounds in spoken words. Progress to segmenting, blending. and deleting phonemes.

Focus on 1 or 2 phonemic awareness skills at a time. More than this is less effective.

Specific Findings about teaching phonemic awareness from the National Reading Panel Report (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development 2000)


More findings from the national reading panel
More findings from the National Reading Panel: identifying the initial sounds in spoken words. Progress to segmenting, blending. and deleting phonemes.

  • Working with small groups of 3 -4 students may be more effective then 1-on-1 tutorials.

  • Emphasis should be placed on segmenting words into phonemes.

  • Use manipulatives to help students develop phonemic awareness.

  • Focus attention on how the mouth changes when pronouncing different phonemes to increase phonemic awareness.


Fab five of literacy phonemic awareness

What is Phonemic Awareness? identifying the initial sounds in spoken words. Progress to segmenting, blending. and deleting phonemes.

  • Phonological awareness –understanding of spoken words and includes an awareness of words, syllables, rhymes, and individual sounds.

  • Phonemic awareness – the ability to play with the smallest speech sounds in language, phonemes.


Phonemic awareness should
Phonemic Awareness Should… identifying the initial sounds in spoken words. Progress to segmenting, blending. and deleting phonemes.

  • Progress from easier phonemic awareness activities to more difficult (rhyming, sound matching to blending, segmentation, and manipulation).

  • Focus on segmentation or the combination of blending and segmenting.

  • Start with larger linguistic units (i.e., words and syllables) and proceed to smaller linguistic units (i.e., phonemes).

  • Begin instruction that focuses on the phonemic level of phonological units with short words (2-3 phonemes: at, mud, run).

  • Focus first on initial (sat), then final (sat), and lastly the medial sound (sat) in word).

  • Introduce continuous sounds (e.g., m, r, s) before stop sounds (t, b, k), as stop sounds are more difficult to elongate and isolate.

  • Add letter-sound correspondence instruction to phonological awareness interventions after children demonstrate early phonemic awareness.

    • (Smith, Simmons, & Kame'enui, 1998)


Possible phonological focuses
Possible Phonological Focuses: identifying the initial sounds in spoken words. Progress to segmenting, blending. and deleting phonemes.

  • Rhyming

  • Alliteration

  • Sentence Segmenting

  • Syllable Blending


Let s try
Let’s Try: identifying the initial sounds in spoken words. Progress to segmenting, blending. and deleting phonemes.

  • What words can you make using all four of these phonemes: /a/, /k/, /s/, and /t/? The word asked is made from these phonemes (/a/s/k/t/)

    How many phonemes in rich?

    3 (/r/i/ch/)

    How many in knock?

    3 (n/o/k/)

    Cloud?

    4 (/k/l/ou/d/)

    Brush?

    4 (/b/r/u/sh/)

    Paste?

    4 (/p/A/s/t/)


Fab five of literacy phonemic awareness

How Can I Improve identifying the initial sounds in spoken words. Progress to segmenting, blending. and deleting phonemes.

My Students'

Phonemic Awareness Skills?

  • Sound matching

  • Sound isolation

  • Sound blending

  • Sound segmenting

  • Sound addition, deletion, or substitution


Sound matching
Sound Matching identifying the initial sounds in spoken words. Progress to segmenting, blending. and deleting phonemes.

  • Show children how to do all the steps in the task before asking children to do the task.

    • Example: (Put down 2 pictures that begin with different sounds and say the names of the pictures.) "My turn to say the first sound in man, /mmm/. Mmman begins with /mmm/. Everyone, say the first sound in man, /mmm/.“ Repeat with second picture. Compare sounds and verbalize that they are not the same /mmm/ and /sss/.

    • Non-example: “Do these words start with the same sound?"

  • Use consistent and brief wording.

    • Example: "The first sound in Mmman is /mmm/. Everyone say the first sound in man, /mmm/.“ Repeat with other words giving students the initial sounds to compare/contrast.

    • Non-example: "Man starts with the same sound as the first sounds in mountain, mop, and Miranda. Does anyone know other words that begin with the same sound as man?"


Sound isolation
Sound Isolation identifying the initial sounds in spoken words. Progress to segmenting, blending. and deleting phonemes.

  • Show children how to do all the steps in the task before asking children to do the task.

    • Example: (Put down 2 pictures that begin with different sounds and say the names of the pictures.) "My turn to say the first sound in man, /mmm/. Mmman begins with /mmm/. Everyone, say the first sound in man, /mmm/."

    • Non-example: "Who can tell me the first sounds in these pictures?"

  • Use consistent and brief wording.

    • Example: "The first sound in Mmman is /mmm/. Everyone say the first sound in man, /mmm/."

    • Non-example: "Man starts with the same sound as the first sounds in mountain, mop, and Miranda. Does anyone know other words that begin with the same sound as man?"

  • Correct errors by telling the answer and having children repeat the correct answer.

    • Example: "The first sound in Man is /mmm/. Say the first sound in mmman with me, /mmm/. /Mmmm/."

    • Non-example: Asking the question again or asking more questions. "Look at the picture again. What is the first sound?“

      • http://reading.uoregon.edu/pa/pa_skills_iso.php


Sound blending
Sound Blending identifying the initial sounds in spoken words. Progress to segmenting, blending. and deleting phonemes.

  • When children are first learning to blend, use examples with continuous sounds, because the sounds can be stretched and held.

    • Example: "Listen, my lion puppet likes to talk in a broken way. When he says /mmm/ - /ooo/ - /mmm/ he means mom."

    • Non-example: "Listen, my lion puppet likes to talk in a broken way. When he says /b/ - /e/ - /d/ he means bed.“

  • When children are first learning the task, use short words in teaching and practice examples. Use pictures when possible.

    • Example: Put down 3 pictures of CVC words and say: "My lion puppet wants one of these pictures. Listen to hear which picture he wants, /sss/ - /uuu/ - /nnn/. Which picture?"

    • Non-example: ".../p/ - /e/ - /n/ - /c/ - /i/ - /l/. Which picture?" (This is a more advanced model that should be used later.)


Blending continued
Blending Continued identifying the initial sounds in spoken words. Progress to segmenting, blending. and deleting phonemes.

  • When children are first learning the task, use materials that reduce memory load and to represent sounds.

    • Example: Use pictures to help children remember the words and to focus their attention. Use a 3-square strip or blocks to represent sounds in a word.

    • Non-example: Provide only verbal activities.

  • As children become successful during initial learning, remove scaffolds by using progressively more difficult examples. As children become successful with more difficult examples, use fewer scaffolds, such as pictures.

    • Example: Move from syllable or onset-rime blending to blending with all sounds in a word (phoneme blending). Remove scaffolds, such as pictures. "Listen, /s/ - /t/ - /o/ - /p/. Which picture?""Listen, /s/ - /t/ - /o/ - /p/. What word?"

    • Non-example: Provide instruction and practice at only the easiest levels with all the scaffolds.

      http://reading.uoregon.edu/pa/pa_skills_blend.php


Sound segmenting
Sound Segmenting identifying the initial sounds in spoken words. Progress to segmenting, blending. and deleting phonemes.

  • Recycle instructional and practice examples used for blending. Blending and segmenting are sides of the same coin. The only difference is whether children hear or produce a segmented word. Note: A segmenting response is more difficult for children to reproduce than a blending response.

    • Example: "Listen, my lion puppet likes to say the sounds in words. The sounds in mom are /mmm/ - /ooo/ - /mmm/. Say the sounds in mom with us. “

  • Concurrently teach letter-sound correspondences for the sounds children will be segmenting in words.

    • Example: Letter sound /s/ and words sun and sit. Put down letter cards for familiar letter-sounds. Then, have children place pictures by the letter that begins with the same sound as the picture.

    • Non-example: Use letter-sounds that have not been taught when teaching first sound in pictures for phoneme isolation activities.


Segmenting continued
Segmenting Continued identifying the initial sounds in spoken words. Progress to segmenting, blending. and deleting phonemes.

  • Make the connections between sounds in words and sounds of letters.

    • Example: After children can segment the first sound, have them use letter tiles to represent the sounds.

    • Non-example: Letters in mastered phonologic activities are not used. Explicit connections between alphabetic and phonologic activities are not made.

  • Use phonologic skills to teach more advanced reading skills, such as blending letter-sounds to read words.

    • Example: (Give children a 3-square strip and the letter tiles for s, u, n.) Have children do familiar tasks and blending to teach stretched blending with letters.

      • http://reading.uoregon.edu/pa/pa_skills_seg.php


Sound addition deletion or substitution
Sound addition, deletion, or substitution identifying the initial sounds in spoken words. Progress to segmenting, blending. and deleting phonemes.

  • Your turn…

    • How would you teach addition, deletion, or substitution? In pairs come up with one activity as well as, an example and non-example for the activity. You will share this with other pairs at your table.


Fab five of literacy phonemic awareness

Activities that improve identifying the initial sounds in spoken words. Progress to segmenting, blending. and deleting phonemes.

skills and engage students

  • Reading and reciting nursery rhymes

  • Singing songs that play with sounds

  • Engaging in games that play with words

  • Sharing riddles and rhymes that focus on songs

  • Phoneme manipulation games

  • What have you had success with?

Making the Most of Small Groups: Differentiation for All D. Diller (2007)


Here s an example phoneme manipulation
Here’s an Example… identifying the initial sounds in spoken words. Progress to segmenting, blending. and deleting phonemes.Phoneme Manipulation

RUNNY'S HAND-NEW BRAT Runny got a present- A lovely hurple pat. He put it on and pasked his als, "What do you think of that?" One said, "Ooh, it's storrible!" One said, "Yuck--it hinks!" Now Runny Babbit never asks What other theople pink. Shel Silverstein


Possible phonemic focuses
Possible Phonemic Focuses: identifying the initial sounds in spoken words. Progress to segmenting, blending. and deleting phonemes.

  • Onset-rime segmenting and blending

  • Sound matching

  • Counting phonemes in a word

  • Blending phonemes to make a word **

  • Isolating the beginning phoneme in a word

  • Isolating the final phoneme in a word

  • Isolating the medial phoneme in a word

  • Segmenting phonemes in a word **

  • Substituting one phoneme for another

    • Which strategies do you think are most important? Why? How would you teach that?

Making the Most of Small Groups: Differentiation for All D. Diller (2007)


Why do some students struggle with phonemic awareness
Why do some students struggle with Phonemic Awareness? identifying the initial sounds in spoken words. Progress to segmenting, blending. and deleting phonemes.

  • Absence of rich language, reading and word play experiences prior to school

  • Attention deficits & hyperactivity

  • Poor communication, enunciation and instruction by teacher(s)

  • Speech/hearing delays

    The Threads of Reading, K. Tankersley (2003)


Fab five of literacy phonemic awareness

What can I do identifying the initial sounds in spoken words. Progress to segmenting, blending. and deleting phonemes.

when a student

is struggling?

  • Associate learning with concrete examples (ex: manipulatives, animals with letter sounds

  • Work within the hierarchy of skills - - don’t push phonics until he/she is ready

  • Make it short, sweet and fun!

  • Look at pg. 25 for possible prompts.


How does writing strengthen phonemic awareness
How does writing strengthen Phonemic Awareness? identifying the initial sounds in spoken words. Progress to segmenting, blending. and deleting phonemes.

  • As students move through stages (pre-phonemic, phonemic, transitional, correct spelling)…

    • Shared writings around a common theme (big books, sentence stem charts

      (ex: “I can _________”

    • Encourage students to look for “noticings” and patterns in writings

      (ex: bike and banana start with the same sound and letter)

      The Threads of Reading, K. Tankersley (2003)


Fab five of literacy phonemic awareness

Assessment identifying the initial sounds in spoken words. Progress to segmenting, blending. and deleting phonemes.

  • Initial Sound Fluency for DIBELS

  • Phonemic Segmentation for DIBELS

  • Checklists

  • Rhyme assessments (rhyme choice and rhyme supply)

  • Onset and rime blending

  • Phoneme blending

  • Writing samples (what sounds do children hear and use?)


Fab five of literacy phonemic awareness

How will you identifying the initial sounds in spoken words. Progress to segmenting, blending. and deleting phonemes.

apply your learning?


Elementary literacy wiki
Elementary Literacy Wiki identifying the initial sounds in spoken words. Progress to segmenting, blending. and deleting phonemes.

  • http://elementaryliteracy.cmswiki.wikispaces.net/