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Blending Sounds in Syllables with Autumn, Kindergartner

Blending Sounds in Syllables with Autumn, Kindergartner

This episode focuses on phonological awareness. Reading expert Linda Farrell helps kindergartener Autumn learn to blend two parts of a syllable (onset and rime). Watch how Ms. Farrell gives Autumn explicit practice with onset and rime — a core phonological awareness skill that helps kids recognize and blend sound chunks within syllables. This is an essential step toward developing phonemic awareness. Phonemic awareness, a vital pre-reading skill, is being able to blend, segment, and manipulate the sounds in words.

Literacy terms

Multisensory instruction: Instruction that engages more than one sense at a time to help students learn. A multisensory activity can include seeing, talking, hearing, moving, and touching.

Onset and rime: The onset is the initial consonant sound or sounds in a syllable that precede the vowel, such as /tr/ in trip, /sk/ in skirt, /b/ in boat, and /shr/ in shrunk. The rime is the part of a syllable that contains the vowel sound and all subsequent sounds in the syllable, such as /ip/ in trip, /irt/ in skirt, /oat/ in boat, and /unk/ in shrunk. Not all words have onsets (e.g. ice, oak, aim, eve, ooze).

Phoneme: The smallest individual sound in a language that changes meaning. For example, the word shock has three phonemes: /sh/, /o/, and /k/. Change the first phoneme from /sh/ to /l/ to get lock; change the middle phoneme from /ŏ/ (short o) to /ā/ (long a) to get shake; and change the last phoneme from /k/ to /p/ to get shop.

Phonemic awareness: The ability to identify and manipulate individual sounds in spoken words. An example of how beginning readers show they have phonemic awareness is combining or blending the separate spoken sounds of a word to say the whole word: /c/ /a/ /t/ = cat. Phonemic awareness is subset of phonological awareness.

Phonological awareness: The ability to recognize and manipulate parts of spoken words. The levels of phonological awareness, from simplest to most complex, are: syllables, onset–rime, and phonemes.

Keeping Your Eyes on the Text

Practicing to Mastery

About Linda Farrell

Linda Farrell is a founding partner at Readsters (opens in a new window), an Alexandria, VA-based firm that helps schools implement research-based reading instruction. She is committed to effective early reading instruction to help struggling readers become strong readers, and to ensure that strong readers achieve their full potential.

Linda works in schools throughout the U.S. training and coaching teachers and modeling effective reading instruction. She also has designed curricula in Niger and Senegal for children to learn to read in their local languages.

Linda is a former English teacher and she was a National LETRS trainer for seven years. She has co-authored assessments and curricula for teaching reading, as well as several other published works. Linda can be reached at: [email protected]