My name is Ingrid and I will be posting for the next few weeks (thanks, Sarah!). Today I would like to focus on the number one predictor of reading success or failure…Phonemic Awareness. Being able to blend sounds together and segment words (and syllables) into their separate sounds are skills students should possess before beginning formal reading instruction. Remember, we never use text with phonemic awareness activities as it is a precursor to reading and involves a mastery of sounds.
An activity I love to use with the younger set is the turtle and the rabbit. For blending practice, ask each student to hold a rabbit. The teacher will be holding a turtle as he/she says the individual sounds of a word and moves the turtle slowly from left to right. Students listen to the sounds and pop up their rabbits as they say the word.
For segmentation practice, switch roles. Now the teacher says a word while popping up the rabbit and the students use their turtles to say the word slowly segmenting into sounds. As you can see in the picture, I like to attach the turtles and rabbits to tongue depressors to make them easier to hold. You could also ask students to draw their own turtles and rabbits on index cards to use with this activity.
Thanks for your time, Ingrid