What do you know about phonemic awareness?

Hey  teacher friends!

I hope you are enjoying your summer break, savoring every second, drinking your coffee from an actual mug {not a traveling mug}, and getting tons of sun and rest!
It has been a while since I have posted here, but you know how stressful the end of the year gets. So this is what has been going on with us:

We have been spending our mornings at the pool playing “marco-polo” and “hot potato.” And just in case you are wondering, my boys and I wear #liquid sunshine by #Arbonne.


I have been reading {it is more like devouring} this book. “The Reading Strategies Book” by Jennifer Serravallo.  If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you should know that I am part of the #ReadingStrategiesCrew and will be conducting a virtual book study organized by the beautiful Literacy Lovin’ Gal. Let  me just tell you… this book is so complete, on target, and relevant! I really cannot put it down and I am convinced that Ms. Serravallo has written a literacy masterpiece that will boost our passion for teaching literacy.


All in all, we have been spending tons of quality time together.  Cuddling up in the mornings and building memories.


The biggest event of the season in our household is that my little G graduated from preschool:

I have always feared this moment.  I really have.
This is my baby boy… going to Kindergarten next year.  #mixedfeelings

As a result, I have been reading and researching about a foundational skill that must be mastered  in kindergarten for the most part: phonemic awareness.


It is important not to confuse phonemic awareness with phonics. Phonemic awareness is the ability to be able to hear, identify,and manipulate sounds {phonemes} in spoken words. Before children learn to read print, they need to become more aware of the sounds on words work. they must understand that words are made up of speech sounds or phonemes.

So, what is the big deal about phonemic awareness?

Well, it not only helps students learn to spell but  it also improves word reading and comprehension. As a matter of fact, you might want to check this  blog post by Timothy Shanahan {written last April} about phonemic awareness.
Many books, articles, and blog posts focus on the “how” and “why” of phonemic awareness. Today in this blog post {and based on lots of reading} I will be focusing on the “what” and “when” of phonemic awareness in Kindergarten and first grade.

I hope you already know that all students come to us with different levels and abilities. The following charts will simply help you choose the model activities to structure a program that is driven by established instructional priorities.

The one and only Jan Richardson explains that phonemic awareness instruction should be conducted in spite of any grade level. She strongly recommends that phonemic awareness instruction be present as part of the Pre-A and emergent lessons in guided reading groups.



What we, as teachers, know and do makes a difference in what students learn. Delivering lessons for students success involves meeting the unique needs of each individual learner.


The needs of our students in terms of phonemic awareness can be met through individual conferences, small groups, or whole group lessons.

Just in case you are wondering what books to read regarding this topic, take a peek at my Good Reads shelf:

Phonemic Awareness

I hope you found this post useful. Let me know if you have any questions!
See you soon!!