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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

Sounds of Speech: Assignments

Assignment 1: listening for phonemes

Now that you've had a chance to learn about phonemes, let's see if you are able to do the following exercise!

How many phonemes do you hear when I say the words below? Click on the word to hear it spoken, then highlight the line underneath the word "Answer" to see the answer.

Example: book

Answer: 3 /b/-/oo/-/k/


Example: day

Answer: 2 /d/-/ay/


Example: can

Answer: 3 /c/-/a/-/n/


Example: sand

Answer: 4 /s/-/a/-/n/-/d/


Example: at

Answer: 2 /a/-/t/


Example: walk

Answer: 3 /w/-/al/-/k/


Example: bat

Answer: 3 /b/-/a/-/t/


Example: by

Answer: 2 /b/-/y/


Example: bath

Answer: 3 /b/-/a/-/th/


Example: tight

Answer: 3 /t/-/igh/-/t/

Challenge Question: (You can do this one!)
Example: hopeful

Answer: 6 /h/-/o/-/pe/-/f/-/u/-/l/

Assignment 2: practice blending phonemes into words

Let's practice blending phonemes. We'll use the phonemes from assignment #1, so that you get additional practice with the same sounds.

book walk
day bat
can by
sand bath
at tight
hopeful

Teaching Tip

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.

"Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them." — Lemony Snicket