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Phonemic Awareness Fun with iPads and more!

Common Core Alignment:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.1.2d Segment spoken single-syllable words into their complete sequence of individual sounds (phonemes).

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.K.2d Isolate and pronounce the initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in three-phoneme (consonant-vowel-consonant, or CVC) words. (This does not include CVCs ending with /l/, /r/, or /x/.)

Phonemic Awareness is such an important part of teaching students how to read.  Being able to break down a word into sounds is a very useful indicator to see how a student is doing in regard to learning how to read.  Phonemic Awareness is another activity that I do DAILY with my students and as a result I try to make it more exciting for my students. The iPads help a great deal in making phonemic awareness practice less redundant.  The two apps that I like using for getting students to identify sounds in words are: ScreenChomp and neuKidsDraw.  These are both free apps and can be used in a number of ways in your classroom. I also use other visuals that I have created to keep my students’ interest each day with Phonemic Awareness (information later on in this post).  I know Phonemic Awareness can be done without any materials at all besides your voice, but, I find that it really helps when my little students have something in front of them to move around so they are more aware of the fact that words are made up of individual sounds.  In the end, this makes them better readers and writers because they then apply this knowledge of hearing each sound when reading and writing! (And allows you to say a few less times, “what other sounds do you hear?”- which I don’t know about you, but I get pretty tired of hearing myself ask that question!) 

Phonemic awareness activities are usually done right at the beginning of my small group lessons- it’s a great way to begin guided reading groups!  Each student has an iPad in front of them open to the ScreenChomp app.  I have both iPad 1’s and iPad 2’s in my room, so since the iPad 1’s don’t have cameras, I use the two iPads in different ways.  On the iPad 1’s, I draw 4 boxes while on the iPad 2’s I pull in an image from my iPad photos that already has the boxes created.  (You can pull in any images you have on your iPad which is very useful!) I then say a word and the students put a dot in each box for each sound they hear in the word.  So if it is the word bag, they put a dot in three boxes for each sound- b-a-g. Then the students erase their dots and we repeat the process with a few more words.  Students enjoy being able to choose their marker color which adds another little aspect of variety to this phonemic awareness activity.  One last step you can include is having the students record their voices saying the sounds in the words as they are putting down the dots!
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ScreenChomp on iPad 1with boxes hand drawn
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ScreenChomp on iPad 2 with picture pulled in

The other app, neuKidsDraw is also fun for students because they choose their color/decorated marker and then follow the same format where they put a dot down for each sound they hear in the word I said.    I did not draw the boxes for this particular student, but you can also do the same like I did on ScreenChomp.  

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neuKidsDraw app

The other phonemic awareness activities I incorporate into my weekly routine includes a pack of winter-themed pictures and backgrounds.  When I brought the backgrounds and pictures out this week, one student even said, “Oh, this could be fun!”….and thankfully, afterward he did really think is was fun! I put a background in front of each student and then I say a word and they put down the pictures for each sound in the word. For example- Pile Up the Presents- students put a present down for each sound in the word. My students all love the fun graphics! The last picture in this section shows how I organize all the pieces for our fun phonemic awareness activities- with just a file folder and mini accordion folder. You can find my Activity #1 Packet and Activity #2 Packet on TPT!

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IMG 0474Other ways to use ScreenChomp:  Pull in a picture of your favorite graphic organizer (you can grab it for free from my store!) and then have students draw their picture using the markers instead of drawing it on paper.  Virtual markers can be even more fun than real markers! Students can then record themselves reading their sentence explaining their picture (in this case, it would be explaining the setting of the story).

I hope you find some useful ideas to bring back to your classroom!


Have a great day!

Aylin Claahsen

Aylin Claahsen

Providing resources and support to engage all readers.

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Hi, I'm Aylin!

I’m so happy you’re here! I’m a certified reading specialist who loves talking all things literacy. I have a huge passion for providing resources and support to engage all readers!


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