• Titles of Books and Activities to Support Phonemic Awareness edit delete
    (Displays 1/25/2013)
    Suggested Booklist for Developing Phonemic Awareness

    Compiled by Beth Filapek, First Grade Teacher, 2005
    Rhyming Books
    There’s a Wocket in My Pocket by Dr. Seuss
    Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss
    Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss
    One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss
    Is Your Mama a Llama by Deborah Guarino
    Down By The Bay by Raffi
    Eek! There’s a Mouse in the House by Wong Herbert Yee
    I Can’t Said the Ant by Polly Cameron
    One Duck Stuck by Phyllis Root
    Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Alan Ahlsberg
    Jamberry by Bruce Degan
    Oh My Gosh, Mrs. McNosh bySarah Weeks
    A Giraffe and a Half by Shel Silverstein
    What rhymes with eel? by Harriet Ziefert
    Chicka, Chicka Boom Boom by John Archambault
    Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? By Nancy White Carlstrom
    I Knew Two Who Said Moo: A Counting and Rhyming Book by Judi Barrett
    The Hippo Hop by Christine Loomis
    Alliteration Books
    A My Name is Alice by Jane Bayer
    Four Fur Feet by Margaret Wise Brown
    Six Sleepy Sheep by Jeffie Ross Gordon
    Faint frogs feeling feverish and other terrifically tantalizing tongue twisters by Lilian Obligado
    Dr. Seuss’s ABC by Dr. Seuss
    Four Famished Foxes and Fosdyke by Pamela Duncan Edwards
    Some Smug Slug by Pamela Duncan Edwards
    Wacky Wedding: A Book of Alphabet Antics by Pamela Duncan Edwards
    Rosie’s Roses by Pamela Duncan Edwards
    K is for Kissing a Cool Kangaroo by Giles Andreae
    Poems of A. Nonny Mouse by Jack Prelutsky
    Busy Buzzing Bumblebees and Other Tongue Twisters by Alvin Schwartz
    Playing With Sounds Books
    The Hungry Thing by Jan Slepian
    The Hungry Thing Returns by Jan Slepian
    The Hungry Thing Goes to a Restaurant by Jan Slepian
    Sing a Song of Popcorn by B. deRegniers, M. White, and J. Carr
    Roar and More by Karla Kuskin
    Stop that Noise! By Paul Geraghty
    Ook the Book: And Other Silly Rhymes by Lissa Rovetch
    Oodles of Noodles by Lucia Hymes
    If I Had a Paka by Charlotte Pomerantz
    Moses Supposes His Toeses are Roses by Nancy Patz
    Slop Goes the Soup: A Noisy Warthog Word Book by Pamela Duncan Edwards
    Alphabet Books
    Eating the Alphabet: Fruits and Vegetables from A to Z by Lois Ehlert
    Dr. Seuss's ABC by Dr. Seuss
    A is for Salad by Mike Lester
    Tomorrow’s Alphabet by Geroge Shannon
    Chicka, Chicka Boom Boom by John Archambault
    Q is for Duck by Michael Folsom
    Alphabears by Kathleen Hague
    Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault
    Little Bunny Foo Foo retold and sung by The Good Fairy, illus. by Paul Brett
    The Eensy-Weensy Spider by Mary Ann Hoberman
    Down By the Bay by Raffi
    Hush, Little Baby by Margot Zemach
    Mary Had a Little Jam by Bruce Lansky
    Take Me Out of the Bathtub and other silly dilly songs by Alan Katz
    The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders by Jack Prelutsky
    Play Rhymes by Marc Tolon Brown
    My Very First Mother Goose collected by Iona Opie
    Hey, Diddle, Diddle compiled and illus. by Linda Bronson
    Riddley Piggledy: A Book of Rhymes and Riddles by Tony Mitton
    Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star by Iza Trapani
    Miss Mary Mack: and Other Children’s Street Rhymes by Joanna Cole and Stephanie Calmenson
    Anything by Shel Silverstein or Jack Prelutsky
    Top 10 Songs to Read by Raffi

    What YOU can do at home to strengthen your child’s phonemic awareness:

    *  Turn everyday occurrences into teachable moments. Research has shown that children need a solid foundation in phonemic awareness; it is vital to their later reading success.

    *  Engage your children in enjoyable reinforcement activities intended to be done orally and for short periods of time (5-7 min.) repeatedly in every day life.  Examples: in the car, in the bath, waiting for appointments, car wash, in line, etc...

    *  Create interest in a variety of topics, and build the background knowledge necessary to become successful readers.

    Children who are immersed in a rich language environment and have many opportunities to play with language often naturally perceive and manipulate the sounds in words.
    The BEST thing you can to build your child’s phonemic awareness is to read aloud to your child — and make sure to include poetry as well as stories. Poets must have a wonderful sense of phonemic awareness because their words sound so beautiful when read aloud. They prove that sounds and rhythm contribute to the beauty of a poem as much as the words and images themselves. I will bet you that few poets are poor readers! However, read on for more things to try with your child.

    Children are naturally drawn to rhyming words. Parents can incorporate rhyming activities by reading aloud books that play with language. The books they read can contain nonsense rhymes, be nursery rhymes, or familiar jingles. Dr. Seuss books are excellent resources to help children develop phonemic awareness.

    Try these activities at home to reinforce your child’s concept of rhyme:

    • Here’s a song that you can use to generate new rhyming words: “I said a boom chicka boom. I said a boom chicka boom I said a boom chicka rocka chicka rocka boom.” Change the word boom to zoom, room, loom, doom, and any other rhyming word your child suggests.

    • After reading a rhyming book, ask your child to find words that rhyme. For example, you might ask, for example, "Can you find a word that rhymes with hop?" And the child might respond, "I see top."

    • While reading a rhyming book with a predictable pattern, stop before you get to the rhyming word and have your child supply it.

    • Give your child a word and then generate a list of rhyming words together (logs, frogs, dogs, hogs, etc.).

    • One person names a word and then you both see who can make the most rhymes from it. Nonsense words are perfectly acceptable in this game (people, meeple, steeple, creeple, cheeple).

    • Play a word game like The Hungry Thing. If your child wants a snack, he will have to ask for it by a word that rhymes. For example, instead of asking for an apple, he could ask for a frapple.

    • Read and teach your child Nursery Rhymes.

    Continue with multiple nursery rhymes and Dr. Seuss books, and any other rhymes/songs your family knows.

    • Play “I spy” with rhyming words. After looking around the room, you might say, “I spy with my little eye something that rhymes with sock.” Your child could answer “clock.”

    Activities that encourage children to manipulate syllables also are very easy for most parents and children to engage in. A syllable, quite simply, is a word part. Young children often don’t know or understand the term syllable, but they are able to hear the parts of words. The most common methods of manipulating syllables include clapping, tapping fingers, snapping fingers, nodding heads, and placing tokens on a chart.

    Try these activities at home to reinforce your child’s concept of syllables:

    • Clap the syllables in familiar nursery rhymes and favorite jingles. Manipulating syllables in "Old MacDonald Had a Farm," for example, is an easy activity. The parent says each word slowly, segmenting it into syllables and the child can repeat it.

    • Clap the syllables of names of people in the family, places the family has visited, food in the pantry, toys in the toy box, or friends at school. For example, as the family passes in front of a Target, the parent might say, "There is Target. Let's clap to see how many syllables are in Target." The parent and child then would clap their hands to each syllable in the word Target.

    • Read a poem such as Hug-o-War by Shel Silverstein and notice the rhythm of each line by counting the syllables and looking for a pattern. Encourage your child to create a line of poetry with a certain number of syllables.

    • Play “I spy” with beginning sounds and syllables. For example, after looking around the room, you might say, “I spy with my little eye something that begins like /f/ and has 3 syllables.” Your child would have to answer “fireplace.” Then switch roles.

    • Place a few common objects into a bag. Ask your child to pull one of the objects out of the bag and then clap or pronounce the name of the object segmented into syllables (e.g., mar-ker, ap-ple, cu-cum-ber).

    • Play ‘Word Clap.’ To play this, choose some words to say orally. Then have your child clap how many syllables (parts) are in the word. For example, you can say "Sailboat." Child says (while clapping), "Sail…boat" (claps two times for the two parts).

    Sample Words: playground, sandbox, crayons, chair, friend, classroom, paint, paper, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, computer, dinosaur, bedtime, toothbrush, and names.
    If your child has mastered 2 syllable words, try 3 or more syllables.


    Activities that involve phoneme manipulation deal with the individual sounds of words. A phoneme is a sound made by an individual letter. Manipulating the phoneme means working with the sounds in words in a concrete way. Again, the most common ways to manipulate individual sounds include clapping, tapping, or snapping fingers, nodding heads, or placing tokens on a chart. The activity may be focused on a beginning, ending, or middle sound of a word. It is important for your child to be able to segment words into their individual sounds, blend sounds into whole words, and change sounds to make new words.

    Below are some common, yet confusing, terms when discussing the sounds (phonemes) in words.

    Isolation: Say the first part of the word song; say the middle part of hop; say the last part of stick.

    Deletion: Say the word pies without the first part.

    Addition: Say the word you have when you add the sound s to the beginning of the word top.
    Categorization: Say the word that does not belong in this group of words: pig, pack, top, put.
    Substitution: Say the word you make when you take out the second part of stop and replace it with the first part of lake.
    Segmentation: Say how many parts there are in the word build.

    • An excellent activity parents can engage in with their children is a scavenger hunt. The parent and child can hunt -- around the house, at the store, in the yard, at the park, in the car, or any place at all -- for things that begin with the same sound as the child's name, or some other sound.

    • Parents and children also can sing a little jingle together, using objects familiar to the child. An example of a jingle you can use (sung to “Old MacDonald Had a Farm”) is:
    What's the sound that starts these words: mom, McDonald's, meat? What's the sound that starts these words: mom, McDonald's, meat? M is the sound that starts the words mom, McDonald's, and meat.
    The jingle can also be changed to find the sound that ends a set of words.

    • Or make up sentences together with the stipulation that every major word has to have the same beginning sound ("Six silly snakes sat slowly on a sandwich").

    • Another good practice activity for phonemes is for the parent to segment little words with the child. You can start by segmenting the onset (beginning sounds) and the time (ending sounds). You and your child can do this to the song “Bingo.”
    There was a kid who had a pet and cat was its name-o.
    /c/ - /c/ - /c/- at, /c/ - /c/ - /c/- at, /c/ - /c/ - /c/- at, and cat was its name-o.
    (other verses can include: /d/-og, /r/-abbit, /h/-orse, /g/-erbil, /p/-ig

    • Then move on to segmenting the entire word, sound by sound. Show your child a picture. Show him how to say each sound in the word (by stretching it out slowly) while moving a penny at the same time (to keep track of the number of sounds). For example: cat /k/-/a/-/t/. The parent says the word slowly, so the child can distinguish each sound individually.

    • After your child can segment words into individual sounds, work on having her blend sounds together to make a complete word. Again, you can start by providing just the onset (beginning) and rime (ending) and moving toward each individual sound. For example, say the following sounds and let your child blend them together to tell you the correct word. /h/ at. Your child should say hat. To move to individual sounds, you would say /h/ /a/ /t/.

    • To prepare your child to hear sounds at the beginning, middle and end of a word, play this little game. Have your child close his eyes and listen for three sounds you make.
    Ex: Parent claps hands, snaps fingers, and stomps feet.
    Child opens eyes.
    Parent says, "First you heard ______. In the middle you heard_____. And last you heard ______." Child fills in blank.
    Continue listening game using the following:
    animal sounds (moo, oink, quack), color words, familiar items (tree, grass, truck), letters of alphabet. sounds of alphabet "b-a-t"

    • Finally, you can try substituting sounds to make new words. Say a word such as “pig.” Tell your child to take away the /p/ sound and change it to /b/. Then ask what the new word is (big). You can continue working with each word, changing it by just one letter (either at the beginning or the end) until you have come up with 5 or 6 new words from the starting point
    Parent Teacher Conferences edit delete
    (Displays 12/1/2011)
    Dear Parents and/or Guardians: 
        Please feel free to set up a conference at any time.  It is important for you to be aware of strategies and ways to support your child at home.  We need to work together to ensure our children grow as learners. 
    If you need to contact me, please call Springbrook at  401-348-2298 or via e-mail at Aguarnieri@westerly.k12.ri.us .     
    Nightly Reading edit delete
    (Displays 2/1/2010)
    Every child should read for at least 15-30 minutes per night.  The material a child should read should be something they can read independently, even on the easy side so that they build fluency and stamina.  It is important for children to become familiar with language, to be comfortable while they are reading so that they enjoy it, therefore being a positive experience. 
    In guided reading groups, students work in small groups using materials that are at their instructional levels.  Teachers instruct on reading and decoding strategies being taught in class in these small groups.