Phonemic Awareness FAQs
Q: Why aren’t there any words on the picture cards?
A: We have learned from experience that putting words on the picture cards is a distraction, not for the children so much as the adults. When the word is printed on the card, it is far too easy to skip ahead and try to teach reading and spelling. Adults must remember that phonemic awareness is the foundation that must be solidly established before the child starts learning to read letters and words. Besides, many rhyming words have very different spellings—showing those spellings can confuse a child who is just being introduced to the concept of rhyme.
Phonemic awareness is the foundation that must be solidly established before the child starts learning to read letters and words.Q: My child is doing a great job with these activities! How much praise should I give her after each correct answer?
A: Actually, very little. Gushing praise (“You are so smart,” a high five, “That’s wonderful!”) can be a major distraction to a young child with a short attention span. By the time you’ve finished praising her, she’s totally forgotten what she learned!
Stick to a simple affirmation of a right answer (“Correct,” or “That’s right”), and then continue with the activity. Similarly, if the child gives a wrong answer, point out the mistake and the correct answer in a simple, direct manner. You’re not being mean, you’re just staying focused!Q: All the games and picture cards are in color, but I only have a black-and-white printer. Do I have to pay for color printing to do these activities?
A: No, a color printer is not necessary. Our experience has shown that children respond just as well to the images when they are in black-and-white as when they are in color.
NOTE: A few of our picture cards are for color words (e.g., pink, blue, red). These cards will need to be colored in with a crayon or marker if they are not printed in color.