What is phonemic awareness and how can we teach it?
Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear, identify, manipulate, and substitute phonemes. Phonemes are the smallest unit of sound that can differentiate meaning in spoken words.
The goal of every kindergarten teacher is to teach our students to read. It’s the single most important academic skill that we teach. It’s also the most rewarding as a teacher. Watching a child see themselves through the lens of a reader is one of the best parts of being a kindergarten and first-grade teacher.
In the rush to push our students to district reading benchmarks it’s common to jump over a crucial first step. Before we begin to teach our students to read we need to make sure our students are fluent with phonemic awareness. So often teachers ask why their students are not reading with the same success and their peers. We often need to back up and ensure that our struggling students have developed phonemic awareness fluency. Grab a free Phoneme Awareness Checklist here.
One of the greatest ways to have our students practice phonemic awareness skills and assess our students’ understanding is with Boom Cards.
Why does using boom cards make learning phonemic awareness easier?
Want to learn more about how to use Boom Cards in your classroom.
#1 Boom Cards have sound.
Phonemic awareness is all about phonemes. Phonemes are the smallest unit of sound in a word. In order to work on the sounds, we need to provide sound. Our emergent readers need to hear the sounds in words as much as possible. Unless you are working one on one with a student you need additional support and Boom provides that support. In this deck, students listen “In the word bed where do you hear the /d/ sound?” You are not going to get that with a worksheet or even with a hands-on center. Your students need the sound files that are embedded in Boom Cards. In this deck, students are asked to find the placement of the sound. Click play below.
#2 Boom Cards are great for individuals or group lessons
Let’s face it kids love Boom cards. There is something about the “ding” for correct answers that keep our students engaged. My students have said they feel like they are playing a game. It doesn’t feel like “work”. When we enjoy doing something we want to do it more. Bring your whole group lesson to life by projecting your Boom Cards onto a Smartboard. Create a “conga line” to take turns answering the slides. Get them moving and learning at the same time! Boom Cards are easy to assign to individuals. We can fine-tune the skill we want our students to work on. It’s easy to differentiate decks with Boom which makes them the perfect answer for RTI intervention and for and IEP objectives.
Reason #3 Boom Cards are easy to use.
Boom Cards are easy to assign and easy for students to log on to. You have control over their login name and password. Boom Learning even has picture passwords to make logging on even easier. Watch my video on using picture passwords.
Students can access their Boom Cards on a Chromebook or a tablet even your phone! If it has a screen chances are you can use it to play Boom Cards.
Reason #4 Boom Cards are self-checking.
Giving our students immediate feedback deepens their understanding and increases academic performance. By providing immediate information on their response we ensure they don’t form incorrect patterns.
Boom cards are a powerful tool in the classroom to help students increase phonemic awareness and build more fluent readers.