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First Year Teacher Self-Study Course

First Year Teacher is a self-paced professional development course for novice K-3 teachers, developed by Reading Rockets. The program provides teachers with an in-depth knowledge of reading so they are prepared to guide their students into becoming skilled and enthusiastic readers.

Photo of teacher and students

Phonemic Awareness

Phonemic awareness is the ability to identify, hear, and work with the individual sounds in spoken words. Manipulating the sounds in words includes blending, stretching, or otherwise changing words.

Before children learn to read print, they need to become aware of how the sounds in words work — and that words are made up of speech sounds, or phonemes. An example of how beginning readers show us they have phonemic awareness is combining or blending the separate sounds of a word to say the word (/c/ /a/ /t/ — cat).

Phonemic Awareness
Diary of a First Year Teacher

Diary of a First Year Teacher

Join Barbara Zielinski, a first grade teacher at River Plaza Elementary School in Middletown, NJ, during her first year teaching.

"So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away. And in its place you can install, a lovely bookshelf on the wall." — Roald Dahl