Lets start with the smallest first. Phonemes.
Phonemes are the smallest units of sound that change the meanings of spoken words. For example, if you change the first phoneme in bat from /b/ to /p/, the word bat changes to pat. English has about 41-44 phonemes, (sounds), (as opposed to having only 26 letters.) A few words, such as a or oh, have only one phoneme. Most words have more than one phoneme. The word if has two phonemes /i/ and /f/. Do not confuse a phoneme with a letter: a phoneme represents one sound. For instance, the two letters ph make one phoneme, /f/.
By the way if a letter is surrounded by //’s like this, /b/, you should read the sound it makes, not the name of the letter. So the letter b makes the sound /b/.
So, what is phonemic awareness?
Phonemic awareness is the ability to notice, think about, and work with the individual sounds in spoken words. 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.")
Phonics is a form of instruction to cultivate the understanding and use of the alphabetic principle, that there is a predictable relationship between phonemes (the sounds in spoken language) and graphemes, (the letters that represent those sounds in written language) and that this information can be used to read or decode words.
We will be starting our Phonics work with MODERN CURRICULUM PRESS. Each week we will be working with 3 new letters/sounds. Please check work and review with your child if mistakes are made.
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