Phonemic awareness is the understanding that spoken words are made up of individual sounds, which are called phonemes. A child who is phonemically aware is able to isolate sounds, manipulate the sounds, blend and segment the sounds into spoken and written words. Phonemic awareness is an auditory training process. It is one of the best predictors of early reading success. Research shows that explicitly and systematically teaching phonemic awareness is central in learning to read and spell.
Because phonemic awareness is essential to later reading success, I would like to provide teachers in grades Kindergarten through 3rd grade with a phonemic awareness curriculum. This curriculum is research based and simple, quick and easy to implement.
All students will benefit from this program. Findings show that teaching children to manipulate the sounds in language helps them learn to read. As well, research states that ALL children (not just struggling readers) can benefit from being taught directly how to break up spoken words into smaller units and how letters represent sounds.
This curriculum will provide teachers with a systematic and explicit way to teach daily phonemic awareness lessons. The lessons are 10-15 minutes long and are done orally (i.e. no supplies or copies are needed). This enhances the classroom as it is a quick, whole-class activity that requires very little prep but whole-class engagement. Success will be measured by analyzing the data from the district mandated assessments administered by K-3rd grade teachers. For example, the Early Literacy STAR tests administered to all 1st and 2nd grade students will show results of phonemic awareness subtests. Overall, if this curriculum is implemented with fidelity, the number of students reading at grade level should ultimately increase and fewer students will need intervention in foundational reading skills such as phonemic awareness.
I will provide a training for this new curriculum and teachers will begin in the Fall of 2018. I have surveyed teachers, providing them with the research around phonemic awareness and this particular program, and they have enthusiastically agreed to commit to implementing the program in their classroom.
Yes, this has been offered to all teachers in grades K-3.