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Development of Academic Skills

Pre-reading Skills

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1 ) Identifying Letters (Siegler & Alibali, 2005)

-         Learning the different line combinations that define each letter: horizontal, vertical, curves, diagonals

-         Even after learning letters, children can still get confused by letters that differ only in orientation: d, b, p, q

-         By second or third grade most children have acquired the ability to distinguish between these letters

-         Most children can identify and name the majority of the letters of the alphabet by the time they enter school (Hall & Moats, 1999).


2)      Phonemic Awareness (Siegler & Alibali, 2005)


-         the realization that words consist of separate sounds that make up words

-         Phonemic awareness focuses on the sounds of words and not the spelling

-         This process is important for identifying different sounds in words and being able to understand the difference in meaning from these sounds

-         Example: “house” & “mouse” What sound is different?

o       “Where is the house?” vs. “Where is the mouse?”

o       The difference in pronunciation of this one sound in these words changes the entire meaning of the word and sentence.


Activities to encourage development of phonemic awareness (Yopp & Yopp, 2000):

o       Rhyme:

-         think of something that rhymes with the word “mop”

o       Syllable units:

-         clap twice for Beckie's name – Be (clap)-kie (clap)

o       Onset and rime:

-         say just the first part of drive /dr/

o       Phonemes:

-         what is the word when you put these sounds together: s-p-i-n.


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