Phonological awareness is a key foundation of building early reading skills. It's an umbrella term that essentially refers to the ability to break words into individual sounds, blend sounds to create words (sounding it out), and the ability to manipulate sounds in our language through tasks like rhyming, changing the ending sounds of words or the order of words (like in Pig Latin). Being able to manipulate the sounds in words is a necessary prerequiste to being able to "sound it out".
So, given that we know it's such a foundational building block for reading - how do we improve our students ability in phonological awareness?
The short answer - tons of practice.
As we have discussed before, the best way to weave in practice is through engaging games and activities that target the specific skills we are looking at. There are tons of skills that comprise the umbrella term "phonological awareness". You can check out a list of very specific phonological awareness skills in our post over here about monitoring progress of these skills.
Today, we wanted to share one of our resources that we use to help make this skill more fun and therefore easier to practice. This is our Sound and Syllable Segmenting game. Typically we break this up and start by only introducing Syllable Segmentation and then once the student has mastered that skill we move onto focusing on Sound Segmentation. Once the student is very comfortable with the skill we may layer in both skills simultaneously to gauge the student's mental flexibility between the two similar but different tasks.
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