In this video segment from Between the Lions, Fred Newman attaches sounds to the letters he sees, gradually forming the word "rocket." First, he notices the letter "r," articulating the /r/ sound. Then he tackles "ock." He blends these parts together to make “rock." Finally, he notices the letters "et" and adds their sounds at the end of “rock," blending until the word, “rocket," takes off!
One of the most important skills children develop during kindergarten is what’s known as phonemic awareness. This is an understanding that the spoken word is a sequence of separate speech sounds. A phoneme is the smallest unit of sound, and children will need to be able to notice and manipulate these separate sounds to succeed at reading and spelling. The word "sun," for example, contains three phonemes, or sounds: /s/, /uh/, and /n/. Children will need to segment words into phonemes when they attempt to spell them. They will also need to blend these sounds together when they see their letter symbols in print and attempt to read them.
Although phonemic awareness is an oral language skill, not a written one, it is one of the best and most reliable predictors of whether a child will have difficulty learning to read. That's because reading is not just a visual system; the written word is also a visible representation of sound. If a child has trouble breaking words down into sounds or blending sounds to make words, he or she will stumble when it comes to translating letters into the sounds and meanings of spoken language.
Fred, who loves sound effects and wordplay, reinforces phonemic awareness by playing with a word, syllable by syllable, part by part, until he figures it out. His knowledge of phonics is solid but flexible, and he demonstrates the trial-and-error process that children need to master when decoding new words. He shows us how to proceed part by part, trying out different sounds until we recognize the word and its meaning. At the end of his segments, he always experiences the satisfaction that comes when a word is successfully sounded out.
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We assign reference terms to each statement within a standards document and to each media resource, and correlations are based upon matches of these terms for a given grade band. If a particular standards document of interest to you is not displayed yet, it most likely has not yet been processed by ASN or by Teachers' Domain. We will be adding social studies and arts correlations over the coming year, and also will be increasing the specificity of alignment.