Step 1 Phonemic Awareness
“According to the National Reading Panel Report (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 2000), the level of phonemic awareness that children possess when first beginning reading instruction and their knowledge of letters are the two best predictors of how well they will learn to read during the first two years of formal reading instruction.” Statistically, if the child doesn’t read at grade level by third grade they never will. (Unless they use Rocket Phonics.)
If your child can rhyme or sing hip hop then he or she has phonemic awareness and you can build on it. Rocket Phonics has many games that develop phonemic awareness most of which use the cards pictured above. Always let the child win. Pick a different game if he wants variety or isn’t enjoying the one you’re playing.
Also there are 36 cards rather than 26. This is because at a minimum the English language has 36 sounds. English’s biggest problem is that it has 13 vowels, but only 5 vowel letters. Couple that with the fact that every word has a vowel and if you stick to a 26 letter alphabet you force the child to guess at every word. Each wrong guess makes them hate reading a little more.
You don’t need the cards to teach phonemic awareness. In fact, we encourage moms to play the “I’m Thinking of a Word Game” while driving and doing errands. The one thing I encourage you to do is to play with all 36 sounds so you know that your child hears and can identify all the sounds. If he or she doesn’t hear the sound then they will be unable to attach that sound to a letter. This is why phonemic awareness and knowledge of letters predict how well kids will learn to read.
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