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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.

"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." — Walt Disney