Sunday, July 31, 2016

TPT Resources: Custom Categories


I hope you have gained some useful information from my recent posts about about Phonological  Awareness and Phonemic Awareness! Since I focus so heavily on these skills with my students, I will continue to develop materials to use in my classroom. For easy access and organization, I have created custom categories in the Tally Tales TPT store. There, you can easily find my Phonological Awareness and Phonemic Awareness activities. I've also separated FREEBIES as well as Literature-Rich Resources there!

Feel free to visit my store and browse through the resources already available there - especially those freebies! I hope you will find something you can use. Also, if you haven't already, please follow the Tally Tales TPT store so you will know anytime I add new resources!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Recap: Phonemic Awareness vs. Phonological Awareness

Recently, I've shared information and resources related to phonemic awareness and phonological awareness. Feel free to visit those original posts if you missed them the first time! Today, I wanted to just give a brief recap of the relationship between these two concepts.

Phonemic awareness is defined as the ability to hear, recognize, and manipulate individual sounds within words. These sounds are known as phonemes. Hence, the term "phonemic awareness."

If you notice, that definition is based upon hearing sounds and words. It has nothing to do with print or associating those sounds with letters. In fact, that is where phonics comes in. See how this works?




Phonological awareness revers to the ability to hear and manipulate sounds. It may refer to phonemes (as in phonemic awareness), syllables, words, and sentences. If this is confusing to you, Dyslexia Help provides an example of what phonological awareness looks like at each level: phoneme, syllable, word, and sentence. As you can tell when working with phonological awareness skills, activities are not restricted to sounds (phonemes) only, which is what distinguishes it from phonemic awareness.  

Again, don't miss that our skill here is auditory; it's focused on hearing. Phonological awareness has nothing to do with print or associating those sounds with letters. 

I'm also sharing a few images below that may be helpful. I've linked them to the original sources, which are full of valuable information as well! I've tried to be thorough, but honestly, sometimes you just need to see it in a more visually-concise form. So here we go! Check out the images below, and click back to their original pages to gain a wealth of additional resources and information about phonemic awareness and phonological awareness.

You can download this file here!
Presentation: West Virginia Phonological Awareness Project
Phonological Awareness: Instructional & Assessment Guidelines





Monday, July 25, 2016

Phonological Awareness: Differentiated Activities for the Classroom

Previously, I shared the importance of phonological awareness development among young readers. If you missed that post, you can access it here. Still, knowing about phonological awareness is one thing; knowing how to appropriately help your students develop it is another. Speaking from experience, I know that it really helps if you have some structured activities to guide you while you're guiding them... especially in those early years of teaching!

Today, I want to share some of my own resources for daily phonological awareness practice.

I created these to use with my own students, to help students develop phonological awareness specifically with syllables. They're great quick, but effective, activities to use daily in small-group instruction. As students become familiar with the routine and gain proficiency with syllable manipulation, you can even transition this to use as a partner exercise.

First, I designed instructional posters that reinforce the definition of a syllable as well as a poster guide for vowel sounds. These are great to use during instructional time as supportive materials, or you can put them on display for student reference during independent activities. Your more visual learners will heavily rely on these as cues when they are working these phonological exercises. 

Next, I created three activities for building phonological awareness. The activities are differentiated to meet the needs of students at different stages of development with phonological awareness. If you weren't aware that there are different stages of development, don't fret; you don't have to do extensive assessments to determine your students' abilities. Observation alone will give you all the information you need to inform your instruction in this area. These activities are designed to easily fit your students at different levels, without being overly complicated.



1. For Students Who Need to Develop Phonological Awareness with Syllables


Use the “Say, Tap, & Count” activity. This activity features picture cards, which should be cut apart into the same number of pieces as the syllables contained in the words. (The cards feature dotted lines for easy, even cutting.) Lay cards for one picture in front of the student. He/she pronounces the word for the picture. Then he/she touches each part of the picture while saying each syllable in the word. The separate parts for each picture help the student visualize and count the syllables in the word while hearing each syllable as it is pronounced.


2. For Students Who Can Hear & Count Syllables Independently


Use the “Sort It Out!” activity. This activity features numbered header cards for a pocket chart or a table as well as corresponding picture cards. Each student draws one picture card. He/she pronounces the word for the picture and counts each syllable he/she hears in the word. Then the student places the picture card under the number that matches the number of syllables in the word.

This sounds simple, and it really is - as long as students have developed this level of phonological awareness. If they have to tap, clap, or do a chin-check to help them count the syllables, that's fine! You just want them to be able to do this activities entirely independently. 

3. For Students Who Can Hear & Manipulate Syllables Independently

Use the “Change It!” activity. This activity features twenty instructional cards for a listening/speaking activity. The teacher reads aloud the instructions as printed on each card. The student(s) listen and follow the instructions to substitute syllables and make a new word. The students say the new word aloud. Each card contains the answer as well as instructions. 

This is entirely an auditory exercise. For example: 

Say airplane. Instead of plane, say bag. What is the new word? (airbag)

I love using these activities, because I can literally watch my students progress from one skill to the next, and it's so exciting to watch their proficiency develop. They enjoy these as well! If you are interested in learning more about these activities, you can access them here in the Tally Tales TPT store

I used this particular set so much that I realized I needed a little variety to keep it interesting and new for my students. Building on this same concept of these three differentiated activities, I created seasonal phonemic awareness activities to use throughout the entire first semester of the school year! If interested, you can access them individually by clicking on any of the following images. 
Back-to-School Syllables
Halloween Syllables

There's also a bundle that contains all of these!
Syllables Bundle
As always, if you have any questions, feel free to comment below or contact me directly through the contact form.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Phonological Awareness: What It Is & Why It's Important


In a previous post, I wrote about the importance of phonemic awareness in classroom reading instruction. If you missed that post, you can easily visit it here.

Today, I want to extend my topic a bit to share information about phonological awareness. If you fall among the majority of teachers (myself included, at one point in time) you may be surprised to learn that there is, in fact, a difference between those two topics.

Before we proceed, let's clear up a common misunderstanding: phonemic awareness and phonological awareness ARE NOT the same thing. Phonemic awareness is defined as the ability to hear, recognize, and manipulate individual sounds within words. These sounds are known as phonemes. Hence, the term "phonemic awareness." This may sound confusing, but don't miss it: Phonemic awareness actually falls under the overarching category of phonological awareness. It's one component of phonological awareness.


Phonological awareness revers to the ability to hear and manipulate sounds. It may refer to phonemes (as in phonemic awareness), syllables, words, and sentences. If this is confusing to you, Dyslexia Help provides an example of what phonological awareness looks like at each level: phoneme, syllable, word, and sentence. As you can tell when working with phonological awareness skills, activities are not restricted to sounds (phonemes) only, which is what distinguishes it from phonemic awareness.  

Again, don't miss that our skill here is auditory; it's focused on hearing. Phonological awareness has nothing to do with print or associating those sounds with letters.



Phonological awareness begins long before a student picks up a book to read. In fact, phonological awareness development is a great predictor of future reading success. It helps students gain an understanding of how sounds work together within all levels of the structure of print. As they develop as readers, they will associate those sounds with letters, which directly impacts the way they blend sounds together to read or to communicate ideas through their own writing.

*               *               *

So you've got this. Now, what can you do?

This answer depends largely on the age of the students you teach. Younger students, or those who are still developing foundational skills for reading, should be exposed to phonological awareness exercises on a daily basis in the form of phonemic awareness skills. Students who have established a reading foundation, but are extending and building those skills (typically 3rd grade and older) need phonological awareness exercises 2 or 3 times per week. For all students, phonological awareness activities are most effective in small group instruction.

The following are some basic phonological awareness exercises that are appropriate and fun for young learners, who typically enjoy playing with words and sounds. You may notice that some of these activities are similar to those identified as phonemic awareness activities. That is common; remember, phonemic awareness is one component of phonological awareness. The structure of the activities may be similar; you just want to make sure the words you use to practice those skills are developmentally appropriate for your students.

I have also provided an example or two to better explain each activity. In a future post, (coming soon!) I will share some phonological awareness resources that I created to use with my students. 
  • Rhyming
Example: Do these words rhyme? knight, write (yes) Can you think of a word that rhymes with repair? (unfair)
  • Counting Words*
Example: Listen to my sentence: The wild monkeys danced and swayed in the jungle trees. How many words are in my sentence? (10)

* This is a great exercise for helping build memory and stamina as well!
  • Counting Syllables
Examples: Say mountain. How many syllables do you hear in mountain? (2)
                Say explorer. How many syllables do you hear in explorer? (3)
                Say magnificent. How many syllables do you hear in magnificent? (4)
                Say parallelogram. How many syllables do you hear in parallelogram? (5)

Note: If your students need extra support with this, they may repeat each word while tapping syllables on a table or fingers. They may also clap each syllable or do a "chin-check" (hand placed under the chin to "feel" each syllable as the chin drops in the pronunciation of the word). These strategies are supportive and should be encouraged!
  • Tapping Syllables: Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes
For this activity, the teacher says a word, such as locomotion. Student repeats the word, syllable-by-syllable, while tapping the head, shoulders, knees, and toes. For this word, students would tap their heads and say "lo," shoulders "co," knees "mo," toes "tion." Be careful to only use words with four syllables or less for this activity! 
  • Syllable Manipulation
Examples: Say friendly. Instead of ly say ship. What is the new word? (friendship)
                Say locker. Instead of lock say mark. What is the new word? (marker)

*               *               *

And if you want to know more...

If you want to learn more about phonological awareness and activities you can use, the following list includes what I consider to be some useful, practical sources of information. Start clicking! :)
SaveSave

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Erin Condren Planner Giveaway!

I'm excited to share some giveaway news today! If you haven't already visited An Apple for the Teacher, then you definitely need to stop by today to enter a giveaway for an Erin Condren planner! What better way to start the upcoming school year than with a new planner?!? You'll find The Tally Tales among the list of contributing bloggers, so check it out! :)

Friday, July 15, 2016

Using Elkonin Boxes to Support Phonemic Awareness Development

Since my focus lately has been all about phonemic awareness, I thought I would share a useful freebie that's available in the Tally Tales store. If you are already gathering phonemic awareness resources for the upcoming school year, then you might find this useful for your small group instruction. If you don't already have a set of elkonin boxes, head on over and grab this set for free!
Elkonin boxes are great for building phonemic awareness because they help students focus on segmenting a given word into its individual sounds. If you use these boxes the way I suggest in my How-To guide (also included in the freebie!), then this can also become a very tactile experience for your students as well! 

Sometimes the hardest part is determining which words are appropriate to use with your students. Considering this, I provided three different Elkonin Box sets for words containing 3, 4, or 5 phonemes (sounds). Then, I included a corresponding word list for each set of Elkonin Boxes. Basically, the hardest part of using this resource will be printing it out. How easy is that?!?



I sincerely hope you can use these items with your young readers! Please feel free to comment or use the contact form if you have any questions about this particular resource. Otherwise, head on over to the Tally Tales TPT store and snag it now! :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Phonemic Awareness: Activities for Beginning Sounds in CVC Words

Previously, I shared the importance of phonemic awareness development among young readers. If you missed that post, you can access it here. Still, knowing about phonemic awareness is one thing; knowing how to appropriately help your students develop it is another. Speaking from experience, I know that it really helps if you have some structured activities to guide you while you're guiding them... especially in those early years of teaching!

Today, I want to share one of my own resources for daily phonemic awareness practice. It focuses on basic CVC words, so it is a great tool for helping young readers practice sound manipulation. Also, since these activities are built upon the structure of word families, they reinforce rhyme, which is another crucial component of developing phonemic awareness. So you get a double whammy with this one!

I created this to use with my own students, and it's great quick, but effective, activity to use daily in small-group instruction. As students become familiar with the routine and gain proficiency with sound manipulation, you can even transition this to use as a partner exercise.

So, here's a step-by-step explanation of how to assemble this product. After that, we'll talk about how to use it. Both are super easy.

So this is where you start. 

The product includes the following color-coded word families: -at, -an, -ap, -ag, -en, -et, -ed, -it, -ip, -ig, -ob, -ot, -op, -ug, -um, -un. 
 
For each word family, there are six cards with instructions for beginning sound manipulation. With 16 word families included, that means this product contains a total of 96 cards for phonemic awareness exercises with word families!
After printing those, get your paper-cutter ready, and cut them out. They are all aligned squares, so this part goes pretty quickly.
Then punch holes in the top left corners.
Last, use a book ring to attach the cards. 
And that's it! You can bind the word families separately, or you can attach them all together with a big ring. I prefer to bind word families for the same vowel together, so I can easily choose the vowel sound on which to focus my instruction each day.


Now you are ready to use these activities with your students! As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, these are ideal for small-group instruction, but you could certainly use them with students one-on-one if your schedule and class size affords that luxury! 

Each card contains instructions for a listening activity. Guiding students through the activity is easy. Simply read the instructions on the cards. Students will listen to the word, repeat the word, and then change the beginning sound (as instructed) to make a new word. The instructions and answers for each substitution are provided on each card. You can spice it up by having students close their eyes to help them really focus on hearing the instructions. (When you're writing these into your lesson plans, go ahead and include those speaking & listening standards!)

Of course, as students gain proficiency with this skill, you can turn it into a student-directed activity. Simply have more advanced students work in pairs, with one student reading the cards and the other following the instructions.  You can put these rings in a basket for fun free-time activities for your students as well!

If you are interested in learning more about these activities, you can access them here in the Tally Tales TPT store. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or contact me directly through the contact form.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Phonemic Awareness: What It Is & Why It's Important

So here's something you already know: If you teach young children, then you are a reading teacher.

Here's something you may not know: If you are teaching children how to read, then not only should you be knowledgable about phonemic awareness, but you should be doing activities daily with your students to help support their development in that area.

Here's the reality: Very few teachers can clearly articulate what phonemic awareness is and why it is important for young readers.

As a teacher of children with dyslexic tendencies, I utilize phonemic awareness exercises daily with my students, because this is typically an area of weakness for individuals with dyslexia.

But it's important crucial for all readers. So if phonemic awareness is a murky concept for you, then this post may be a good starting point for you. I am sharing an overview of important concepts in my own words, and at the end of this post, I am listing other resources, made available by people who are far more knowledgable than I am. In all, I hope to provide you with multiple perspectives from which to glean a better understanding of phonemic awareness and how it impacts your reading instruction.

This information also holds true for parents as well. Phonemic awareness skills can easily be developed at home! Use this information not only to shape your classroom instruction, but also to better inform parents about new ways they can work with their children.


Okay, let's clear up a big misunderstanding: phonemic awareness and phonics ARE NOT the same thing. Phonemic awareness is defined as the ability to hear, recognize, and manipulate individual sounds within words. These sounds are known as phonemes. Hence, the term "phonemic awareness."

If you notice, that definition is based upon hearing sounds and words. It has nothing to do with print or associating those sounds with letters. In fact, that is where phonics comes in. See how this works? 


Phonemic awareness begins long before a student picks up a book to read. In fact, phonemic awareness development is a great predictor of future reading success. Phonemic awareness helps students gain an understanding of how sounds work within words. As they develop as readers, they will associate those sounds with letters, which directly impacts the way they blend sounds together to read words or spell words in their own writing.

Phonemic awareness is the starting point, a foundation, on which readers build their understanding of print and the way words work. So, that being said, if you have a child who struggles to develop phonemic awareness, even after consistent practice and explicit instruction, then that may be a warning sign to you that something else is going on. If no other factors are inhibiting his/her development, that child may be displaying dyslexic tendencies, of which early identification is essential.

*               *               *

So you've got this. Now, what can you do?

The answer depends largely on the age of the students you teach. Younger students, or those who are still developing foundational skills for reading, should be exposed to phonemic awareness exercises on a daily basis. For students who have established a reading foundation, but are extending and building those skills (typically 3rd grade and older) only need phonemic awareness exercises 2 or 3 times per week. Also, for those students, you would more accurately want to focus on phonological awareness, rather than phonemic awareness. I'll share more about this in a future post. :)

For all students, phonemic awareness activities are most effective when used in small group instruction. The following are some basic phonemic awareness exercises that are useful, appropriate, and fun for young learners, who typically enjoy playing with words and sounds. I have also provided an example or two to better explain the activity. In a future post, (coming soon!) I will share some resources that created to use with my students. 

  • Rhyming
Example: Do these words rhyme? cat, rat (yes)
                Can you think of a word that rhymes with top? (hop)
  • Counting Phonemes

Example: Say pig. How many sounds do you hear in pig?  (3 sounds- /p/, /i/, /g/)

  • Phoneme Isolation

Examples: Say bag. What is the first sound you hear in bag? (/b/)

                  Say stop. What is the last sound you her in stop? (/p/)

                  Say bug. What is the middle sound you hear in bug? (/u/)

  • Phoneme Deletion

Examples: Say trap. Now say trap without the /t/. (rap)

                  Say mat. Now say mat without the /m/. (at)

  • Phoneme Substitution

Examples: Say man. Change the /m/ in man to /p/. What is the new word? (pan)

                  Say top. Change the /o/ in top to /i/. What is the new word? (tip)

                  Say run. Change the /n/ in run to /t/. What is the new word? (rut)

*               *               *

And if you want to know more...

If you want to learn more about phonemic awareness and activities you can use, the following list includes what I consider to be some useful, practical sources of information. Start clicking! :)

Friday, July 1, 2016

Upcoming Blog Topics : July

Hey friends!

I have taken a little time lately to regroup, redesign, and refocus. It has been wonderful. That's what summer is for, right?!? I ran across this cute little graphic in a twitter post (click the image to see the original post), and it perfectly matched the way I have felt so far this summer! I hope you are beginning to feel a little recharged as well!

Today, I'm excited to share a preview of upcoming blog posts, topics, and ideas here at the Tally Tales. Check out the calendar below!

Throughout the month of July, I am going to focus on Phonemic Awareness and Phonological Awareness: what they are (did you know there is a difference between the two?!?), why they're important, and some activities/resources for the classroom. Hopefully, I will be able to share something that you can use to jump-start your small-group reading instruction this year!



Like my calendar? You can get your own set of calendars for the upcoming school year in the Tally Tales TPT store! I have an editable version available as well!

Happy July!