Phonemic Awareness is awareness of small units of sound, such as the /p/ in the word "pig." The individual sound is called a "phoneme." This skill is addressed without print, and is a precursor - actually a prerequisite - for decoding. This should be addressed in every first grade classroom. Here is a shortcut guide to what activities to look for:
- alliteration - does the student enjoy picture books and word plays that repeat the same first sound?
- segmenting - breaking a word into individual sounds c-a-t "cat"
- blending - giving the student the sounds (c-a-t) can they come up with the word?
- phoneme isolation - when given a word orally, can the student identify the first, last, middle sounds?
- phoneme deletion - asking the student to take one sound away: for example, say "cat" - now say it without the /k/ sound ("at").