Important Pre-K Skills

One of the most important skills that should be taught at the Pre-K level is phonemic and phonological awareness.  I can’t stress the importance of teaching these skills to our early learners because they are the basis for learning to read. Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear and segment sounds.  We know that a student’s skills in phonemic awareness is a good predictor of later reading success or difficulty.  Since research has proven this time and time again, as a Pre-K or kindergarten teacher, this is a great place to start your literacy instruction.

Phonological Awareness

Phonological Awareness


What Is The Difference Between Phonemic and Phonological Awareness?

The video below outlines the difference between phonemic and phonological awareness.


Important Pre-Reading Skills


Pre-K Curriculum

The new Pre-K curriculum that has been developed contains lessons based on the phonological awareness model displayed on the right.  The skills outlined below address these key components within the lesson plans.


Information About Pre-K Curriculum


Sound Knowledge

-Isolate beginning sounds in words

-Segment and blend sounds in words

-Change a sound in a word to make a new word


Rhyme Knowledge

Pre-K Curriclum

Pre-K Curriclum

-Recognize rhyming word partners and be able to generate rhyming partners


Syllable Knowledge

-Clap and tap syllables within words


Word Knowledge

-Recognize how many words are within a sentence


Sample Mini-Lesson On Word Segmentation

Place the picture cards representing the words below in a pocket chart.  Say the words below segmenting each letter sound.  I say each letter sound very, very slowly or a I use a puppet named “Slow Speaking Sam” who says sounds in words slowly.  The students are to blend the sounds back together and identify the picture card that represents the word.


b/u/s          b/o/x          b/e/d         h/ou/se          s/u/n          p/i/g


Segmenting Picture Cards 

Below are the picture cards representing the words to be segmented.




Pre-K Curriculum Information

In the link below you can find more information on the Pre-K curriculum.


More Information About Pre-K Curriculum



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Pre-K Curriculum

I have been asked to create a Pre-K curriculum that addresses the “National Standards” but also meets the needs of ESL learners.  I am excited about this opportunity, but I know it will be a considerable amount of work.  The resources will be reproduced in hardcopy and distributed to places that do not necessarily have access to quality resources.  This is the reason for the different books.  I will also have an online version.

Note:  The curriculum only includes activities that address learning outcomes.   It does not include play center a ideas, which should still be included in the bulk of the curriculum.

Teacher's Guide

Teacher’s Guide

Teacher Resources

Teacher Resources

Student Workbook

Student Workbook

Student Resources

Student Resources









Your Input After Viewing Free Resources

I have created the first unit of study which is based on greeting each other and becoming familiar with names within their learning environment.  Please view and use the free resources.  I would really appreciate your input!!!


Pre-K Curriclum

Pre-K Curriculum


Teacher’s Guide

Teacher’s Resources

Student Workbook

Student Resources




Future Units of Study

All About Me

My Five Senses

My Body (taking care of it)

My Emotions

My Home and Family

My Family

My House



Food and Nutrition

Zoo and Animals



Numbers and Shapes


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Phonological Awareness Activities

Significant Correlation Between Learning to Read and Phonological AwarenessPhonological Awareness Pyramid

I am now teaching grade one and have come to realize the importance that phonological awareness plays in relation to children being able to read.  The students who are unable to identify rhyming matching words are the ones struggling with learning to read.  As a result, my focus for the month of January is to have these students exposed to more rhyming read alouds.


What Is Phonological Awareness?

I have posted the video below previously but this is for the benefit of the readers that have not seen it. It does a terrific job of explaining phonemic and phonological awareness.

Rhyming Read Aloud

Rhyming Read Aloud


Pre-Reading Skills Video


Focus on Rhyming Activities

The Read Aloud 

For every theme I did, I always tried to ensure that my read alouds included a rhyming book.  If you using the “Alphabet Program” the theme for January is “Ocean”.  I have listed some “Ocean” read alouds that make use of rhyme.  Having our learners listen to rhyme and word play is one of the best methods of exposing them to phonological awareness activities such as rhyming.


1.  Gizmo the Octopus by Mark Hooper

Spinning Rhyming Game

Spinning Rhyming Game

2.  Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea by Jan Peck  ***

3.  Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae

4.  The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson

5.  Ten Little Fish by Audrey Wood

6.  The Pout Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen


Spin-A-Rhyme Board Game

I also included phonological awareness activities in my literacy centers.  The game displayed above is one my students really enjoyed. Partner players take a turn spinning a top and must place a bingo chip on the rhyming picture match.  (Example:  the top landed on a picture of a rake and a bingo chip was placed on the picture of a snake).

Rhyming Matching Game

Rhyming Matching Game


Rhyming Matching Board Game 

This is another game I had at my literacy centers. I copied and placed the rhyming pictures on poster board marked off with a grid.  The students drew a card and placed the picture beside the rhyming match. (example:  clown and crown, ball and doll).


Word Work

Each day we print on our erasable whiteboards.  I introduce a word family and have the students only change the initial letter. They learn that this not only changes what the word says but also that all the words rhyme (examples:  cat, bat, mat, sat, etc.)


Rhyming Mini Unit – Special Deal Until End of January!Rhyming Mini Unit

This mini-unit is not offered as an individual purchase but is only available to members that purchase a membership.  For the month of January only, I have decided to offer this as a single purchase (if you are an existing member, you will already be able to access this under the heading Literacy Centers).


More Information on the Rhyming Mini Unit


Fabulous Freebies!

Each blog post I l also try to include some fabulous freebies.  In the link below you will also find some free rhyming resources.


Free Rhyming Resources


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Phonological Awareness

Important Skills for Beginning of Kindergarten or PreK

Training my students to hear beginning sounds in a fun and effective way can be a challenge.  I begin each year focusing on this skill as many of my students arrive lacking the ability to discriminate sounds heard within words.

Research has proven that phonological awareness, phonemic awareness and phonics plays a crucial role in children learning to read but the terms can be confusing.   The video below is an excellent source of information in explaining the differences.


Pre-Reading Skills Video


In this blog post I wanted to address a few mini-lessons that I have implemented that have helped my students to hear beginning sounds and apply this to the corresponding letter.

Phonemic Awareness

Phonemic Awareness Warmup

One of the learning outcomes in many Pre-K programs is for students to print letters they hear at the beginning of words.  However, many of my students arrive not being able to  distinguish the difference in hearing these sounds. Many do not understand the concept of what a beginning sound is.  During the first weeks of school,  I focus on phonemic awareness activities that will assist them in hearing sounds within words prior to introducing any alphabet letters representing these sounds.  I focus on the initial sound first.

1)  I have a puppet that I named “Slow Speaking Sam”.  Sam says the sounds within words (usually one syllable words) very slowly and the students must guess the word said.  If they can’t guess the word, it is said faster.

2)  I have three students come forward and assign each of them a phoneme sound they are to represent.  We blend the sounds together to say the word that represents these sounds.  We clap or stretch the sounds using an elastic band.   We also discuss the first, middle and last sound heard.  This activity has been invaluable in terms of my students understanding the concept of what a beginning sound is.  When the majority of my students are able to hear beginning sounds; I begin introducing the letters of the alphabet that represent these sounds (phonics).  We extend this activity to deleting and adding sounds.  Using the students to represent sounds assists visual learners with this skill devleopment.

Integrating Use of the Smart Board


Smart Board Sorting Activities
As a group instructional activity, we sort pictures according to what inital sounds are heard.


Phonics Component

Use of Paddle Boards

Dry Erase Boards

Dry Erase Boards

After the students have an understanding of hearing initial sounds in words, the phonics component is integrated.  I was fortunate to have a class set of dry erase paddle boards.  I use these contstantly in my “Literacy Centers” and class activities.  I dictate  words that begin with the focus initial letter sounds and the students must print the letter that represents the initial sound heard in the word.  This helps me evaluate each child’s understanding. This has proven to be an invaluable activity  but my only complaint is that I seem to be having to replace the markers frequently.  I haven’t found a solution to this problem yet.


 Use of Shared and Guided Reading and Literacy Centers


Connection to Literature

Many of the emergent readers are a simple retelling of a literature selection.  The focus literature selection for the upcoming week will be “Rainbow Fish”.  This is a great book to use to address the concept of sharing and to introduce the related emergent reader.


Shared Reading –  Rainbow Fish RetellingRainbow-Fish-Emergent-Reader

I project the color version of the emergent reader on my Smart Board.  First we do a picture walk and predict what the story might be about.  I read the book to them and after we circle and read the words together, reinforcing the use of pictures to give us clues as to what the text reads.


Focus Skills

The reader is not only meant to introduce the reading process but also key learning concepts.  The following concepts will be introduced during shared reading time: what a word is,  letters “r” and “f” and their related sounds, sight word “a”, colors and color words.



Guided Reading

I don’t exceed six students during my guided reading group time.  Since we have read the selection over several times during shared reading, many of my students are able to pretend read the majority of the book.  During guided reading they circle the words and color the pictures according to the text.  This not only adds a comprehension and fine-motor component but most students complete this task at varying times, allowing me to focus on one student at a time.  They read the book to me (tracking the words they circled) and after read it to a friend and take it home to read to their parents.


Printing Book – Group 1

Complete printing book “r and f” and stamp pictures beginning with that sound.  Printing book found in link below:

Printing Book

Sound-Soring-GameObject or Picture Sorting – Group 2

My students will be digging into the rice or soy bean tactile tubs for objects to determine if they begin with “Ll,  Hh,  Rr or Ff” sounds.  If I do not have enough objects representing a sound, I use picture cards laminated on cardstock instead (found in the “All About Me” theme).

I recently purchased soy beans from the “Bulk Barn”.  It was the cheapest I could find for creating another tactile tub.  My students really enjoy this experience.


Spin and Print – Group 3

Spin and Print

Students take turns spinning a top and printing the letters “r and f” depending on what picture the top lands on.


Alphabet Ordering and Matching – Group 4

I have all the alphabet letters in the correct order in pocket charts.  The lower-case letters are printed on poker chips.  The students must match the poker chips to the correct letter found within the pocket charts.  I have three pocket charts (2 students working at each chart). They are encouraged to say the name of the letter, if they know it).  Later in the year, I will have them put the alphabet letters in the correct order.


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