Posts Tagged ‘ strategies ’

Trouble Shooting for Early Literacy Struggles – The Role of Phonological Awareness Skills

Jan 17th, 2011 | By

Some students have difficulty acquiring emergent literacy skills in preschool and continue to struggle after entering Kindergarten. Both reading and writing are born out of the child’s awareness of the sounds of oral language, the association of sounds to letters, and the subsequent ability to map sound to print. Having the adequate literacy foundation skills of phonological awareness is a necessity. Research tells us that phonemic awareness is critical for reading and writing (especially blending and segmenting), so what is the difference between phonological awareness and phonemic awareness? Phonological and phonemic awareness are interdependent, with phonemic awareness being a subset of phonological awareness. Simply put, phonological awareness involves patterns and all units of sound (the chunks), while phonemic awareness deals with the phonemes or sounds (the pieces). Phonological awareness is innate – our brains are hard-wired for pattern-seeking. Phonological awareness involves the ability to hear/recognize and manipulate the patterns of oral language – words, syllables, rhymes, onsets, rimes, and alliteration, and is an auditory skill (no print involved). It also involves the sense of beginning, end and middle parts of words, as well as word play and the understanding that spoken words consist of sequences of phonemes. Phonemic awareness is [...]



Get Contagious!!

Nov 13th, 2010 | By

One of the joys I experience in teaching children and their teachers about Visual Phonics is to witness the “ahas” – those light bulb moments where you can almost hear the “click” of a connection being made. It is heartwarming to witness the excitement of a child when the connection between letters and individual sounds or chunks of sounds finally arrives after being elusive or confusing in the past. It is just as gratifying to see or hear teachers (no matter whether new to the teaching profession or experienced veterans) learn new ideas and strategies that change their teaching and how they look at literacy development. As a part of Visual Phonics courses I teach through Professional Development, teachers are required to write a paper and reflect on the questions with which they are provided. One of the questions deals with what teachers have noticed about the impact of Visual Phonics on their students – frequently, there are comments about students being excited, more involved in their learning, and showing more confidence. Since we’ve all heard “nothing motivates more than success”, I decided to share examples of comments I get to read on a frequent basis. One teacher shared what [...]



The Shower Doesn’t Work

Aug 28th, 2010 | By

Back in May, our niece from California graduated from the University of Iowa, so her family stayed at our house for a few days pre and post graduation. As is the case in most households, having company means cleaning things and rooms that aren’t usually included on the regular schedule. While there is a bathroom on the main floor in a spare room addition, the shower hasn’t been used for over a year. One of my jobs was to clean the stools, sinks, and showers. I left the spare room bathroom for last . . I cleaned the sink, the stool and then turned my attention to the shower. Hmmm . . . water to the sink, water to the stool . . . no water coming out of the shower. I checked all of the water shut-offs and everything was as it should be. Too late to call a plumber, since everyone was arriving that night! We got through the week of company by using other showers and things returned to normal. No hurry in figuring out what was wrong with the shower, right?  Wrong . . my wife announces that  a good friend is coming from out East [...]