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Phonological Awareness Explained

By Naomi O'Brien


Building phonological awareness with kindergarten and first grade students can feel overwhelming. I’ve heard teachers say that they aren’t really sure what it is, and even if they are, they aren’t sure what teacher moves to make to best serve their students.

Below I will be sharing several examples and tips about how I build phonological awareness in my students.

Click here to see the resource.

I use these daily slides to work on my students’ phonological awareness skills.
Deficits in phonological skills can be tied to students who struggle with reading, writing, and spelling. When you think of phonological instruction, think ears. When you think of phonics, you should think of eyes and ears.
Each skill (rhymes, syllables, initial sounds, onset and rime, middle sounds, final sounds, phoneme manipulation, blends, and segmenting) has 8 engaging and high level activities to choose from the practice the skill.
I encourage my students to turn and talk to work through these skills together. I make sure to pair my students strategically.

I teach 1-2 skills a week for 5-10 minutes a day. We cycle through these skills during whole group ELA time and it has been a sure way to build strong readers in my classroom.



Hi, I'm Naomi

I have been teaching elementary students for over 10 years. Effective reading instruction and accurate social studies at the primary level are huge passions of mine! 

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