A Few Key Points from: Reutzel, D. R. (2015). Early Literacy Research Findings Primary-Grade Teachers Will Want to Know. The Reading Teacher. 69(1). 14–24.
- Phonemic Awareness VS Rhyming and Alliteration Activities
- Alphabet Knowledge LN-LS – Instruction and Pacing
- Alphabet Learning Order-What the Research Shows
Early literacy development is among the most fleeting yet vitally important phases of literacy development. All primary-grade teachers intuitively know that if young children get off to a good start, they will rarely stumble along the path of academic progression. On the other hand, if they do not, these young learners often struggle throughout their school careers (in Reutzel, 2015).
Phonemic Awareness VS Rhyming and Alliteration Activities: What the Research Shows
- reading skill is better predicted by phonemic skills than rhyming skills
- 4- and 5-year-old children taught segmentation and blending experience significantly greater gains in phonemic awareness and letter-sound knowledge than children taught with rhyme and alliteration activities.
Phonemic awareness instruction has been shown to “produce greater improvements in awareness and future reading achievement in young children than time spent on rhyming and alliteration.” Despite the allure and fun of rhyming, songs and poetry activities in the kindergarten classroom, research has not yet uncovered any strong evidence to show rhyming as a “developmental precursor of young children’s full phonemic awareness.” The author does not argue that rhyming and alliteration activities be abandoned, rather that the focus and emphasis should be primarily on phonemic awareness instruction –blending, segmenting, and manipulating phonemes.
Alphabet Knowledge LN-LS – Instruction and Pacing
Alphabet knowledge is the single best predictor of later reading and writing success (National Early Literacy Panel).
Research has shown that letter-a-day instructional pacing was significantly more effective than letter-a-Week pacing in promoting students’ mastery of the alphabet letter names. Reutzel states that the most effective alphabet knowledge instruction requires no more than 12-15 minutes per day and is multicomponential, meaning that lessons should include learning activities that require letter recognition, naming, associating the symbol with a sound, writing, discriminating the letter to be taught from other letters, and categorizing letters into upper- and lowercase. (For more info on letter a day see previous post New Insights into Letter Learning )
Alphabet Learning Order-What the Research Shows
Recent Research has also identified new findings about the order(s) in which young children develop their knowledge of the alphabet and how teachers can most effectively help them to do so. Six evidence-based alphabet letter learning orders have been identified, through which young children may acquire knowledge of alphabet letter names and sounds.
1. Own-name effect.
States that young children most easily and quickly learn the letters found in their given or first names. The strongest effect is for the first letter in the first name, such as J for Jamal.
2. Alphabetic-order effect.
Letters at the beginning or end of the alphabet are learned more quickly and easily than those letters ordered in the middle of the alphabet.
3. Letter-frequency effect,
The more frequently letters appear in printed materials, the more quickly and easily they are learned.
4. Letter-name pronunciation effect.
Occurs when a letter’s sound is heard as the letter’s name is pronounced.
5. Consonant phoneme acquisition order effect,
Young children learn consonant letters’ names and sounds easier when they are mastered earlier in children’s oral language development.
6. Distinctive visual features letter-writing effect.
The letters of the alphabet are recognized through detection of a smaller set of distinctive visual features, which include (1) terminations, (2) straight lines, (3) curved lines, (4) diagonal lines, and (5) intersections
Teaching students to fluently produce this smaller set of distinctive visual features before teaching them how to write all of the alphabet letters has been found to lead to quicker mastery of letter transcription. The production of handwritten alphabet letters activated areas of children’s brains identified as the “reading circuit” more than any other sensorimotor training.
Lesson Template from The Reading Teacher page 17.
|Reutzel, D. Ray (2015). The Reading Teacher. 69, (1) pages 14–24|
|Lesson Template for Teaching 12-Minute Letter Name and Letter Sound|
Students will learn the name, the sound, and how to write the symbols for the upper- and lowercase letter T/t.
Write the Letter
Name and demonstrate the proper formation of the uppercase T.
The uppercase letter T starts at the top of the line and goes straight down to the bottom of the line. Then it has a straight line across the top.
Name and demonstrate the proper formation of the lowercase t .
The lowercase t also starts at the top of the line and goes straight down to the bottom of the line. Next make a line that crosses the other line between the middle-and top of the line.
Distribute white boards, gelboards, or lap boards. Ask students to write 3-6 uppercase and lowercase T/t letters and also quickly review any other letters learned. Note which students were successful and which may need additional help in small group settings.)
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