Phonics and phonemic awareness are two of the most important parts of reading instruction. They are necessary as children learn how to make sense of letters, sounds, and words. But what exactly is the difference between the two?
Phonics is the relationship between letters and sounds. Phonemic awareness is the ability to HEAR, identify, and manipulate individual sounds in a word.
I like to remember the difference by saying that phonemic awareness can be done in the dark. It uses the ears rather than the eyes AND ears like phonics.
Phonemic awareness is critical in the early grades. It can powerfully affect reading and spelling development in students. The more opportunities students have to work with sounds in the classroom, the more confident they will become. Getting phonemic awareness practice in your schedule daily may seem daunting, but making it a routine can help!
The options for phonemic awareness activities are varied and easy to do with your students.
Blending boards are a simple, effective tool for helping students recognize sounds in words. You can also use flashcards to practice sound identification, and focus on different parts of words. Playing games with students is of course one of the best ways to get students engaged in learning about phonemes.
An easy way to have all the tools for effective daily practice is with the Phonemic Awareness Activities Systematic Curriculum.
The year-long bundle includes everything you need to help your students confidently identify and manipulate sounds. Blending boards, worksheets, and even videos are included.
The oral task cards are perhaps the best part of the curriculum, as they include practice with all the following skills:
- Sound deletion
- Sound addition
- Beginning, middle, and ending sound games
- Nonsense Words
- CVC Words
Using these task cards daily will greatly enrich your students’ understanding of sounds in words. There is also an assessment included so you can address their individual needs and see their growth.
Dive into the activities today and daily practice will no longer seem impossible!