Today Kindergarten is the Old First Grade. As the Kindergarten Reading Specialist at Chandler School in Duxbury for 26 years I have observed the changes in demands on young children. I have seen how these demands may effect young children’s love of reading and self esteem. Students who are not provided with the phonological skills to be successful before kindergarten may struggle to catch up with our federally mandated curriculum demands. Ready To Read = Ready To Succeed will provide each student with reading activities at his or her developmental level that will prepare them to be Ready To Read and Ready to Succeed in Kindergarten.
Phonological Awareness is a broad term that refers to the awareness of sounds in a word. A child with phonological awareness can identify and provide rhyming words, count syllables in a word, identify and manipulate individual sounds in a word, and identify the words in a sentence.
Phonemic Awareness fits under the umbrella of phonological awareness. It is an awareness of the smallest units of sound, phonemes in a word. For example, a child with phonemic awareness could hear that the word bat has the sounds: /b/ /a/ /t/. A child with keen phonemic awareness could change /h/ at the beginning of hat to /c/ and know that now, it’s the word cat.
Phonological and phonemic awareness activities are things children can do with their eyes shut.
Phonological Awareness - Chunks
Phonemic Awareness - Sounds
Using developmentally appropriate literature, students will also develop exceptional vocabulary and comprehension skills.
Those student whose phonological and phonemic skills are already well developed will receive differentiated instruction at their skill level within the group.
Because the two best predictors of success in learning to read, are phonemic awareness and knowing letter names, according to researchers Share, et. al in Sources of Individual Differences in Reading Acquisition from The Journal of Educational Psychology.
Studies have shown that children who possess high levels of phonemic awareness before beginning to read do better at reading than children with low levels of phonemic awareness. Phonemic awareness has been shown to be a more important predictor of reading success than intelligence, vocabulary, or listening comprehension according to Learning to Read: Beyond Phonics and Whole Language by Thompson & Thompson.
Ready to Read = Ready to Succeed