How to Use Data to Drive Phonemic Awareness Instruction

Are you looking for ways to use assessment data to drive your phonemic awareness instruction?  If so, then read on to find out how to gather that data and how to look closely at the data for opportunities to group students.   I am also sharing a few ideas of what to do in small and whole group settings to address those skills.

Learn how to use data to drive your phonemic awareness instruction.  First assess and then use a no prep resource to teach the identified skills.


This is my second post in a series about Phonemic Awareness.  You can find post number one {HERE} where I differentiate between phonemic and phonological awareness.  In this post, I am going to help you decide what to do with the data you collect.

First off, how do you collect data?  If you read my previous post you'll know I use a screening tool to figure out where my students are at in their phonemic awareness development.  You can grab that screener for FREE by clicking on the picture below.

Grab this easy to use and free screening tool to assess your students phonemic awareness skills.


Once you have a detailed status of the class list it is time to start planning instruction.  Take a look at the filled out class list below.

Use the FREE status of the class recording sheet to record your students scores in order to beginning planning your phonemic awareness instruction.


Here are a few things you should look for:

  • Is a small group of students all struggling with a particular skill? On this list, there is a group of 5 students working on rhyme production, for example.
  • Where do most of the students start to struggle? On this list, it is syllable deletion.  This is what you want to focus on for your whole class instruction.  
I use the class list and sort my students into small groups depending on where they are having struggles.  If they do not fall into neat grouping then I look at the cluster of skills.  To understand what I am talking about see the class list and group notes below.

Learn how to use data to drive your phonemic awareness instruction. First assess with a free screening tool and then use a no prep, fully scripted, easy to use resource: Phonemic Awareness in 5 Minutes Word Lists to teach the identified skills.


How do I target those groups? 


My students who are struggling with phonemic awareness are not ready for a traditional guided reading group, so their guided group time focuses on the identified skills they are lacking.  A typical guided group time would include:
  • Word List warm-ups: Using my Phonemic Awareness in 5 Minutes cards I target a particular skill.  In this instance, it would have to do with rhyme as this is an area a small group of students struggles with. 

Phonemic Awareness in 5 minutes cards are perfect for teaching phonemic awareness skills - no prep, fully scripted and easy to use anywhere when you have a few minutes.

  • Oral Games for practice: A favorite for producing rhymes is Rhyme Around the Table.  I say a word we are going to generate rhyming words for and then I go around the table and we see how many real and nonsense words we can come up with.  

  • Hands-On activities: I always incorporate hands-on activities like puzzles and clip cards. 
Use rhyming centers to give students time to practice in guided groups or during independent center times.


How do I target the whole class with the skills they need?


Once I know what skill most of my students need to work on I try to find ways to weave it into my daily instruction.  Some of the ways I do this are: 

  • Weaving it into our shared reading time. 
  • Using the word lists as a warm-up activity at the carpet before language lessons.  
  • Teaching in small chunks -  I have my word lists hanging by the door and we use them every time we line up. I call out a word and students get a turn to manipulate the word, depending on the skill.  

Phonemic Awareness in 5 minutes cards are perfect for teaching phonemic awareness skills - no prep, fully scripted and easy to use anywhere when you have a few minutes.

  • Using word lists at transitions time to make the most of that lost time waiting.  I pull out my word lists whenever I have a spare 5 minutes of time to fill.  


The most important thing to remember when teaching phonemic awareness skills is that the skill is ORAL.  You don't need your students to see letters to develop those skills. That is why using word lists is a really powerful way to teach these skills. They are easy to use, are perfect for short periods of time and require no prep.  

I hope this post was helpful.  Don't forget to grab your screener freebie to add to your teacher toolkit. Don't forget to pin this image so you can revisit this post later.

Learn how to use data to drive your phonemic awareness instruction. First assess with a free screening tool and then use a no prep, fully scripted, easy to use resource: Phonemic Awareness in 5 Minutes Word Lists to teach the identified skills.


Until next time,  


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