HELPING KIDS BUILD THEIR PHONOLOGICAL AWARENESS
Written by THRIVE Program Teacher, Tyson Schoeber • Last Updated: 11-28-2015
This page outlines some effective strategies and resources that teachers, tutors and parents who care about kids who struggle with reading to improve their phonological awareness.
That stated, it may be helpful to note that the term phonemic awareness is usually defined as the highest level of the broader term phonological awareness. You'll see both terms used in some of the resources outlined below.
1. This informal phonemic awareness test could be used to assess a child's skills in this area. Alternatively, simply reviewing the directions that accompany it is a good way to develop a better understanding of the kinds of skills we're talking about here.
2. The Predictive Assessment of Reading Test (PAR) is a valuable screening tool for use in Kindergarten to Grade 3 classrooms. The PAR Test get very high marks in my books: it's quick, easy-to-use, reliable and inexpensive! When used as a screening tool, this test can help teachers to flag any young children who might be at-risk of reading failure. Better still, PAR also provides specific, easy-to-implement directions for preventing that failure from occuring in the first place.
3. Developed at Concordia University, Abracadabra is a free, interactive, web-based literacy program designed for young children and classrooms. It helps to build many kinds of skills that are crtical for beginning readers — including phonological awareness. I've only had limited experience with this program because I work with older students. Yet I can tell you that Abracadabra comes highly recommended by several educators that I deeply respect.
4. Published by LDOnline, this article provides a detailed explanation of current thinking about these issues. It is both engaging and accessible.
5. Designed for teachers, tutors and parents of young children, SightWords.com offers a whole bunch of free information about teaching early reading. There are helpful videos, games, word lists, and a variety of other resources, too.