Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Fun Phonemics at Home

There are tons of ways to supplement school learning at home, even as young as pre-kindergarten.  You can help children learn their lunch numbers by having them say it before sitting down to dinner.  There are lots of wonderful ideas throughout the Internet of moms sharing fun early learning activities.  I've spent the summer reviewing the phonemic ladder with my daughter.
Phonemic awareness is not equivalent to phonics. According to Wikipedia:
Phonemic awareness is a subset of phonological awareness in which listeners are able to hear, identify and manipulate phonemes, the smallest units of sound that can differentiate meaning. Separating the spoken word "cat" into three distinct phonemes, /k//æ/, and /t/, requires phonemic awareness.
The phonemic ladder is simple. Begin with listening skills.  If the child has not mastered listening, you cannot move further.  Listening can be taught with sound identification games and echo chants for example.  Once your child has demonstrated proficiency in this area, you are ready to move to rhyming.  Rhyming can be taught in singing nursery rhymes or playing rhyming games.  One activity that my daughter enjoys is feeding rhyming picture cards from a cookie tray to an old lady box that I created.  Her other fun is Slim Jim rhyming.  Whenever she wants a Slim Jim as her snack, she has to find something on the fridge that rhymes with a word that I call out.  This is why developing listening first is important. She has to listen not only to the word I say, but the sounds of other words to find a successful rhyme.  This idea could again be worked into anything around the house, not just Slim Jims.
We'll stop here on phonemics today and talk more about the next steps of the ladder another time.


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