The foundation ofreading begins at an early age and transitions into an essential skill tounderstand the real world. Educators play a significant role with instructing andguiding students to establish the life skill “reading”. As an educator, tosupport the delivery of instruction to students it is important to implementresearch-based strategies. “The outcome of these decisions is critical: Theselection of programs and practices teachers use is one of the most importantfactors in student achievement” (Kretlow, A. & Blatz, S., 2011).
However,all research-based strategies do not work for all students. Strategies mustmeet the criteria to fulfill the literacy need of the student while supporting thefoundation of reading. The process oflearning to read should be fun and purposeful.Connecting Research with Classroom Instruction Rhyme GenerationRhyme Generation is an instructional strategy for emergentreaders, focusing on the development of phonemic awareness (Antonacci& OCallaghan, 2012, pp. 6-8).
Students are engaged in isolating, blending,and manipulating sounds at different levels. Rhyme Generation primary purposeis to direct students to build on manipulating onset and rime. Rhyme Generation is conducted during literacy block. Teachermay demonstrate the activity in the morning message followed by literacy timewith guided reading targeting the phonemic awareness skill.
The trategysupports the intervention and differentiated instruction for students that areEnglish language learners (ELL) and students with disability (SWD) byscaffolding, oral and explicit instruction, content pictures, and usingmultisensory materials (magnetic letters) to visualize the creation of the newword. Overall, this strategy supports the enrichment of phonemic awareness.ScaffoldingThe Scaffolding strategy supports phonemic awareness instruction for students in pre-school tokindergarten.
“Scaffolding is the intentional, strategic support that teachersprovide that allows children to complete a task they could not accomplishindependently” (Mcgee & Ukrainetz, 2009). Scaffolding supports differentiateinstruction per the amount of support each child need until they all havemastered the skill without the use of scaffolding. The teacher determines thesupported task a student need to “respond correctly to the task” and”internalize skills” to improve their performance independently used later(2009). Using the task “isolation of phoneme beginnings”,scaffolding consist of three levels to meet the literacy need of all students withinthis skill.
The teacher models all three levels of scaffolding within thelesson. The three levels of scaffolding are minimal, moderate, and intense; “mostchildren need intense scaffolding when teachers first introduce the concept ofisolating first sounds in words or when they teach phonemes” (2009). Thisactivity of scaffolding delivers differentiated instruction for all students(general, ELL, and SWD). With consistency of this practice, students candemonstrate progress and segment phonemes in words.
Morning MessageMorning message goal is to “expose children to print inmeaningful ways, to help children witness the process of translating speechinto print, and to demonstrate for children that print carries meaning” (Wasik& Hindman, 2011). The message also contributes to increase students’ awarenessof skills, modeling of speech-to-print and letter recognition. Morning messageis implemented in the daily schedule in early childhood classrooms.
The message board content is presented in a large group whichinitiate the children to have conversations about scheduled events for the dayand learning experience within the classroom to name a few. Teachers deliver explicitinstruction by modeling the process of text construction and thinking processwhich both support the foundation of students’ pre-literacy skills. Lastly,differentiated instruction is implemented to meet the needs of each student indeveloping their knowledge of print and speech relationship. Poetry PenPoetry pen is an activity that support the strategy ofletter recognition.
The goal of this activity is for students to identify thetarget letter or letters using nursery rhymes or poems. The teacher will placethe rhymes and the target letter cards face up and give each student anerasable marker. Students will work in pairs, taking turns. One student in the pair will select anuppercase and lowercase letter card and name it, the opposite student will finda rhyme and circle the target letter through the rhyme. Students will continueuntil all rhymes have a target letter circled. This activity can be modifiedfor students that are aware of high frequency words circling within the rhymes.(Florida Center for Research, 2014) Treasure ChestTreasure Chest is an explicit instructional strategy that focuseson segmenting and blending sounds.
“Its primary purpose is to provide students with multipleopportunities to engage in sound play as they count phonemes and thenreconstruct them into words through oral blending” (Antonacci &OCallaghan, 2012, pp. 22). Treasure chest activity addresses the literacy needfor all students.
The instruction for this activity can be differentiated byprimary grades as a class lesson. Also, instruction for students that are ELLand SWD should be explicit, and repetitive to master the skill of blending andseparating sounds. With the use of audio instruction, picture cards, and “transforming the Treasure Chestactivity into a guessing game” (Antonacci & OCallaghan, 2012, pp.
25), ELL and SWD should strengthen their skills to become successful readers. Syllable, Words, andPicturesSyllable, words, and pictures activity supports the skill ofphonics. The purpose of this activity is for students to blend syllables in words(Florida Center for Research, 2007). Students will combine syllables to form wordsby playing a matching game.
In addition, this activity supports the individualneeds of all students and implements scaffolding to help identify gain inphonics. Strategies EffectivenessAfter evaluating the strategies using criteria that supportsthe development of phonemic awareness and phonics, the following strategies areranked per highest to lowest score, Treasure Chest (20), Scaffolding (20),Poetry Pen (19), Syllables, Words, and Pictures (17), Rhyme Generation (17),and Morning Message Board (15). The top three strategies were selected becausethey demonstrated how to target the critical skills for phonemic awareness andphonics with fidelity. However, the other strategies are also influential with buildingstudents’ literacy effectively. Treasure Chest activity directs two skills segmenting andblending. “When studentsengage in segmenting and blending sounds, they are preparing for the decodingand encoding of words” (Antonacci & OCallaghan, 2012, pp.
22).Treasure Chest keep students actively engage with learning because they canhave fun while learning the skills of blending and segmenting, oral sounds, andphoneme to “primary purpose is to provide studentswith multiple opportunities to engage in sound play as they count phonemes andthen reconstruct them into words through oral blending” (Antonacci , 2012, pp. 22). Scaffolding instruction supports the remediation of skills suchas identifying phonemes and isolation of phoneme beginning, which they may havenot grasped understanding during whole group instruction, “Scaffolding is theintentional, strategic support that teachers provide that allows children tocomplete a task they could not accomplish independent” (Mcgee & Ukrainetz,2009). The instruction supports the differentiated need of early literacystudents from the teacher by varying the instruction on different levels at thesame occurrence. “teachers differentiated instruction by altering the level ofsupport offered to individual children. Over the course of a lesson and insubsequent lessons, as a child begins to succeed with one level of scaffolding,teachers reduce the amount of support they provide from intense to moderate tominimal scaffolding until each child can perform isolating tasks withoutscaffolding” (2009).Poetry Pen was selected because it reinforces the skill ofletter recognition.
This activity is engaging to early literacy learners usingnursery rhymes or poems while developing their speaking and languageskills. This activity can be used fornot only early literacy age learners, but also for children in grades 1st-2nd, implementing age level text (FCR, 2007).Parent-Teacher Conference”I am pleased that you understand the importance of beinginvolved in your child’s experience developing skills to be a great reader. Atthis current development stage as a kindergarten, your child can learn thefoundation of reading. At this grade level, it is critical that learning shouldtake place anywhere, not just in school.
Assisting your child at home is an important factor tosupport the instruction of phonemic awareness and phonics. Both are essentialskills that will always be used in the advancement of your child’s literacysuch as spelling, word recognition, and the ability to read. In addition, italso gives an understanding of how your child will read in the next few years.Phonemic awareness and phonics enhances your child ability to identifyindividual sounds in spoken language.To continue strengthening these concepts, you can help athome by reiterating these skills by reading books that have pictures, rhymingwords and poems to name a few. You can select a letter that will be the targetfor your child to focus on, having them point out the letter and make the soundof it. This helps with letter recognition and sounds of individual letters.Another activity you can do is play a rhyming or blending sound game, userhyming words that are in a word family “hat, cat, fat”.
Also, write the words for visual support soyour child can identify the relationship of letter sound to print. Overall, theactivities should be short and engaging to keep them wanting to learn more. Ihope these strategies and information on how these early literacy skillsbenefit your child’s reading in the future.”