Are You Literate Enough? Are Your Students?

 Last week I was talking about literacy  and AAC users and “Comprehensive Literacy for All.”  I talked about giving AAC users access to the alphabet. After all, where is literacy without it, right?

phonological awareness

The other key factor in literacy success is phonological awareness.  I’ve written a good deal about phonological awareness before on this blog.  In fact I did a mini-series on reading foundation instruction you can go back to here.

For some background on reading instruction read this post and this one.
For rhyming read this post.
For counting syllables read this post.
For initial sounds read this post.
For sound blending read this post.
For manipulating sounds in words read this post.

Phonological awareness is the recognition of units of sound in words, phrases, sentences. Being able to manipulate sounds in words is critical to successful reading.

One of the key points the authors make is one we talk about all the time with instruction and AAC: teach; don’t test.  Explain, model, highlight. But, Do. Not. Test.

Begin with recognizing rhyme and alliteration (initial sound sameness).  Move from determining if two words rhyme to generating rhyming words.  Keep the activities fresh; use different activities each day and different words.

Make picture cards and play Memory type card games. Go Fish type card games. BINGO games. Scavenger hunts in the room. Scavenger hunts within a storybook. 

Flip through magazines finding words that begin with the same letter/sound. Or pictures of those words. Find words in a story you’re reading that start with the same sound.

Students need to engage with text and to recognize and use letters in words. Read to them daily. Give them genuine writing activities. And give them independent access to books, words, and letter.

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