Friday, August 7, 2009

Phonemic Awareness Materials

For several years I've been using materials developed by Michael Heggerty for Phonemic Awareness. The activity is designed to be completed in 10-15 min, and covers all Phonemic Awareness areas, such as name first sounds, last sounds, medial sounds, blending sounds, chopping sounds, adding sounds, dropping sounds, and repeating sentences. While Phonemic Awareness is inherently a verbal activity, I've found that it can be modified for all learners.

First I created a set of materials that give visual directions on what to do during each part of the activity. You can download it here and here (2 slightly different versions), at BoardmakerShare. Just make sure to sign in after you click the link.

I use the materials on a daily basis with all my learners. The students really love this activity, it's fast pace, repetitiveness, and actions allow student interaction at many levels. The visuals allow students to give answers to questions, first sounds for example, by pointing to the sound if they can't verbalize. Also since the materials were made with Boardmaker you can enlarge them for use with students who use eye gaze. I use motions with blending, showing the the 2 parts with each hand, then smashing the hands together to demonstrate the blending concept. Other such actions can be used for chopping, first sounds, and last sounds.

While you are unlikely to notice students understanding this concepts right away, if you stick with it you will see improvement. I have no empirical evidence to support this, but anecdotal evidence suggests that it helps students with verbalization, attention, as well as the Phonemic Awareness skills. Please feel free to use and pass along the materials.


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