February 2021 – Della Larsen's Class

What is Phonemic Awareness?

February 23, 2021

Teaching young children to read is one of the greatest enjoyments of being a kindergarten teacher. To take a child from knowing just a few letters of the alphabet to a student who can read a book from start to finish is one of the greatest joys of a teaching career. When that kindergarten student looks up at you after they finish reading a book from cover to cover for the first time your heart can’t help but fill with joy. Helping a child see themselves through the lens of a reader is humbling and powerful.  How do we get young children to become fluent readers? Becoming a reader is much more than knowing your alphabet and the sounds of letters. Researchers have identified five key concepts at the core of every effective reading instruction program. Often these concepts are referred to as the pillars of reading. The 5 pillars of reading  Phonemic Awareness Phonics Fluency Vocabulary Comprehension Phonemic Awareness Let’s start with the first pillar of reading – Phonemic Awareness So what exactly is phonemic awareness and why is it so important to kindergarten students? Phonemic Awareness is the ability to hear, identify, manipulate, and substitute phonemes.   It...

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Using Digital Resources in a Kindergarten Classroom

February 16, 2021

During the Covid pandemic of 2020, every kindergarten teacher had to pivot and quickly figure out how to teach remotely. Teachers spent hours trying to educate themselves about how you can teach kindergarteners to read using digital resources. Now, as we can finally see the light at the end of the long Covid tunnel we find ourselves asking “Will there be a place for digital once we are back in the classroom?” The short answer is YES. There has always been a place for digital in our kindergarten classrooms. For years teachers have been using Google Classroom and Boom Cards to supplement reading groups and to fill in as literacy and math centers. The big difference between before 2020 and after is that now every single kindergarten student has a working knowledge of digital devices. Chances are if you teach in a typical US school and you teach kindergarten, you had limited access to digital devices. Often the kindergarten students received the “hand me down” devices from the upper grades. Often they were broken, had lost charging cords, and each teacher was given a very small supply and absolutely no training. However, long before remote teaching was ever a...

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