phonological awareness

Kindergarten Readiness – Moose #6

Moose starts with the letter m. Moose starts with the sound mmm.  What other words start with the mmm sound? For example, mitten, mother, milk, etc.

 This simple activity is fundamentally  important. The skill of figuring out and using sound bits is called phonological awareness. Children’s ability in this area is so critical that it is used as a predictor of reading success and education achievment. The best time to work on this skill is prekindergarten. Make this a game, short and fun. Here are some variations. Who gets to do 3 jumping jacks by thinking of a word that starts like mmmoose? Do moon and mitten start with the same sound? Yes, and you get to touch your toes 2 times. How about moose and bunny? You got the no so you get to hop like one. No, not hop like a moose, hop like a bunny. Hop all the way to the moon. Hey, did you notice that starts with mmm, too? Riding on the bus, requires a different approach, but this activity can be done almost anywhere and anytime. Even just a few little rounds will help develop your child’s ability in this area.  Let  your moose loose with sounds and fun.

Kindergarten Readiness – Mother, May I?

 Mother and May both start with the letter M. The letter M makes the sound mmm. What else starts with the sound mmm?
Sounds like a simple question doesn’t it? While the question may be easy the answer requires a critical skill called phonological awareness.  This is the concept that words are made of bits of sounds. For instance, the word may has 2 ‘sound-puzzle’ pieces: mmm and aaa. Once children have developed this awareness they can manipulate words and hear both rhyming sounds and initial sounds. This skill is absolutely critical for learning to read.

Here are some more ideas:  do mother and coat start with the same sound? do mother and mitten start the same?  how about more and basket? 

P.S. You can even disguise a few hints in the questions:  do mother and flowers start with the same sound? how about mother and chocolate? do mother and (name of favorite restaurant) start the same? Maybe the family will get the clues! Enjoy your meal out. Make the most of your memories.

Kindergarten Readiness – Practicing Letters

Motivating a munchkin to practice letters is no trick when the medium is so yummy. Mix up a batch of chocolate pudding, put a couple of spoonfuls onto a big plastic plate or container lid and write away. Licks are allowed.

While you are mixing it up, you can take advantage of having close attention and work on letter sounds: “Pudding starts with the sound ‘puh’. If I say pudding and pineapple, do those words start the same? How about pudding and milk? Do pudding and pink start the same or different?” The skill of dividing words into their sound bites (pardon the Pun) is called phonological awareness and is critical for learning to read. Not all children learn to do this on their own and such word games help them develop this crucial concept. The pudding is probably all prepared to pop onto a plate and practice. YUM!

Kindergarten Readiness – A is for Angel in a Tree

One morning this week we woke up to a bright, colorful kite draped across the trees down the hill. The kite wings had an extensive span and the face smiled at us from the treetops. This photo requires lots of imagination, especially because the wind was quite strong and whole hillside seemed to be quivering.  It … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – A is for Angel in a Tree