Revisiting the Introductory Challenge

Our Kindergartener, Herman, could recognize phonemic differences in words that contrasted with his own name (like Sherman) but had trouble coming up with simple sets of rhyming words. He was on the way to developing phonemic awareness, but not quite there. By working with a parapro on syllable and rhyming exercises, like the ones in this unit, Herman should be able to build his skills and achieve phonemic awareness soon. Even though his classmate Xi could not write English characters, he already has developed greater skill with phonemic awareness. He can auditorily distinguish phonemic sounds in his own name and can readily name rhyming words he recognizes as different: “cat,” “mat,” and “bat” and even more complicated ones like “spider,” “rider,” and “glider.” What are some things that you might do to help a student like Herman improve his phonemic awareness skills?