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Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Remember to check out these posts if you're new!  I've been breaking down phonemic awareness steps towards reading.  Read these to find out where your child is in this process!

Phonemes are the smalles units of speech.  They are difficult to recognize because they are so small and, unlike syllables, they can’t be easily distinguished.  For example, CAT has 3 phonemes /c/, /a/ and /t/.  However, CART also has 3 (/c/, /ar/ and /t/).  It is extremely important for children to hear each sound in words so when they go to sound it out, they won’t miss parts of it.
  • Start off with three letter words.  Give your child M&M’s, Cheerios, blocks or anything small they can push.  Model pushing one object forward whenever you hear a sound.  For example, if you use the word HAD, you would push forward an object for /h/ as you said it, one for /a/ as you said it and another for /d/.  We call this “Push and Say.”  Try some of these words, but always demonstrate first: 
    • DAY (/d/ and /ay/), HAY, WAY
    • BEE (/b/ and /ee/), FEE, SEE
    • BYE (/b/ and /ye/), WHY, MY, PIE
    • BOW (/b/ and /ow/), GO, MOW, LOW, ROW
    • CHEW (/ch/ and /ew/), STEW, BLUE
  • See if your child can determine whether a word has 2 or 3 phonemes.  Say words like the ones mentioned above, but don’t demonstrate “Pushing and Saying.”  See if they can tell you how many different sounds they hear.  Be sure to throw in words including digraphs (th, ch, sh), where 2 letters make one sound.
  • Next, see if your child can add or subtract initial sounds.  Ask them to tell you the difference between NO and SNOW (the “s” sound at the beginning).  Try these words:
    • TWO and STEW
    • ROW and CROW or GROW
    • CRY and DRY, FRY or TRY
    • PIE and SPY
    • LAY and CLAY or PLAY
    • LOW and BLOW or GLOW
    • RAY and GRAY, PRAY or TRAY
    • Do the same activity removing middle sounds.  Try these words:
      • SO and SLOW, SNOW or STOW
      • DIE and DRY
      • SAY and STAY or SWAY
      • see AND ski
      • CLUE and CREW
      • SIGH and SKY, SLY, SPY or STY
      • GO and GLOW or GROW
      • FEE and FLEA or FREE
      • Once they’ve mastered three letter words, move onto playing "Push and Say" with four letter words.  Try words like: spice, smile, spill, fork, steak, sand, flake, trace, snail, plane, etc.
      • Find pictures of these words in magazines or online.  Play a guessing game where the child has to point to the picture with 3 sounds, or 4 sounds, etc.
      • This website is good for hearing and identifying middle sounds... For example, the O in NOT
      • In this online game , choose which phoneme you want to practice from a list, then your child must match the sound with the printed letter
      • And here  you can make real and made up words with any ending sound
      Anybody reading any good books or doing any fun activities?

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