Teaching children to manipulate the sounds in language helps all types of readers learn to read. Phonemic awareness and letter knowledge have been identified as the two key indicators of how well children will master beginning reading skills during the first two years in school. Because it plays such a vital role in forming the foundation of reading development, phonemic awareness is the first thread in the tapestry of reading.
In Prep at OCS we recognize the importance of children learning to manipulate sounds as part of their literacy acquisition. An example of this is when children are asked to blend three sounds together, from print, to make spoken words (with the aid of pictures). As each letter of the word is written, the children say the sounds together and then sound out the word. For example /d/ /o/ /g/ – dog. They understand that spoken words are made up of sounds. They recognise the sounds (phonemes) in spoken words and orally blend three sounds to make a word. Earlier Phonics teaching in primary schools will be put under the spotlight as part of a Federal Government plan to get back to basics in the classroom and target children who are starting school behind the pack. Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham is expected to unveil the test as part of a major shakeup of phonics teaching in Australian classrooms.
At Orange Christian School, we have seen the benefits of laying the foundation of literacy and numeracy acquisition in Prep – the year prior to school. The process is done in a fun and exciting way; concepts are learnt and the children are motivated to do more.
If you would like to find out more about literacy acquisition at OCS, our Prep teacher Mrs Rosa Cunial would love to talk with you.
In our photos, April is pictured sounding out syllables in words and students are working as a group to draw a picture of the word they have just sounded.