Like many early childhood educators, I have spent a lot of time ensuring I am up to date on all early literacy practices. The science of reading is a buzzword in education circles but don’t be scared or put off by the idea of something new. The science of reading isn’t new at all. It’s ongoing research to inform our practices and pedagogy. As I got myself caught up on the science of reading, the only change for my practice was focusing even more on phonological awareness. Before moving up to introducing phonics ( letter to sound connection) early educators really must focus on sounds, playing with them, differentiating them, and manipulating them. This will help our students have a rock-solid foundation before moving on to phonics. This is all about matching the sounds. We aren’t worried about attaching these to letters yet. Focus on sounds first! This phonological awareness printable for Prek is a perfect way to work on these skills for a small group, teacher table activity, and eventually as an independent literacy center activity.
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Clip cards are lovely for PreK because they are a double-duty activity. Children are working on early literacy skills, but they are also working on fine motor and hand-eye coordination. You can learn more about the science of reading by checking out these two podcast episodes where Vanessa Levin and I dive into what this all means for preschool teachers. I have found the most helpful book about incorporating the pillars of this body of literacy research into my classroom to be Shifting The Balance by Burkins and Yates.
Sound Matching Clip Cards
Gather your materials. You’ll need to print out a copy of these clip cards or make your own. Trust me when I say it’s much easier to use mine. These are time-consuming to make. You will also need some scissors, a tray, and mini-clothespins. You can get them here or at your local dollar store. I decided to laminate these since I am using them with multiple children, which allows me to disinfect them.
Start by cutting the cards out and laminating them, or if you are lazy like me, laminate them and then cut them out. I love my little laminator, but you can find the new and improved version here.
Place a few cards with familiar sounds, and maybe one or two with less familiar ones on a tray with some mini clothespins. Invite your student to help you find the matching sounds. I always tell them what the image they are matching up is and then walk them through the card.
After we’ve used the cards a few times as a teacher table or small group activity, I’ll put these out in my literacy center.
I love activities like this phonological awareness printable because I can do ten cards with a child who is eager and having fun or one with a child who finds this task very challenging. It is easy to use activities like this in different ways with different students, which is part of my main goal; to teach the child in front of me.
Maybe that means that you need to use these cards differently.
If you laminate them, you can skip the clips and use dry erase instead!
Or turn them into punch cards ( do not laminate and you might want to skip printing in color, too) and have your students use a hole punch on the matching sounds! I made these versatile on purpose so you can meet your students’ needs easily!
If you want to grab your copy of these cards, you can buy them here for $3.99
More Phonological Awareness Activities for Prek
Find more activities to add to this phonological awareness printable in your classroom. Here are some great simple ways to work on this important group of skills.