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Phonemic Awareness Benchmarks

What is Phonemic Awareness?

Phonemic Awareness Benchmarks, Brooklyn Letters

KINDERGARTEN
Students Should Demonstrate These Skills at the End of Kindergarten:
  1.  Sound and Word Discrimination
    • Tells whether words or sounds are the same or different (cat/cat = same; cat/car = different).
    • Identifies which word is different (e.g., sun, fun, sun).
    • Tells the difference between single speech sounds (e.g., Which one is different? s, s, k).
  2.  Rhyming
    • Identifies whether words rhyme (e.g., cat/mat; ring/sing).
    • Produces a word that rhymes with another (e.g., “A word that rhymes with rose is nose. Tell me another word that rhymes with rose.)
  3. Blending
    • Orally blends syllables (mon-key) or onset-rimes (m-ilk) into a whole word.
    • Orally blends 2-3 separately spoken phonemes into one-syllable words (e.g., /m/ /e/: me; /u/ /p/: up; /f/ /u/ /n/: fun).
  4. Segmentation
    • Claps or counts the words in a 3-5 word sentence (e.g., Sue can jump far).
    • Claps or counts the syllables in 1-, 2-, and 3-syllable words.
    • Says each syllable in 2- and 3-syllable words (di-no-saur).
    • Identifies the first sound in a one-syllable word (e.g., /m/ in man).
    • Segments individual sounds in 2- and 3-phoneme, one-syllable words (e.g., run: /r/ /u/ /n/;
      feet: /f/ /ee/ /t/).
Phonological Awareness Benchmarks for kindergarten:
  • 25 first sounds per minute by mid-year
  • 35 sound segments per minute by the end of kindergarten.
Video Clip Examples

First Sound Identification
This video clip shows an example of a student lacking phonemic awareness skills. The student is shown while being assessed on the DIBELS Phoneme Segmentation Fluency (PSF) measure. The student is only able to produce the onset, or the initial sound in the word.

First Sound Identification
This video clip shows an example of a student with established phonemic awareness skills. The student is shown while being assessed on the DIBELS Phoneme Segmentation Fluency (PSF) measure. The student clearly and confidently segments words to the phoneme level.


FIRST GRADE
Students Should Demonstrate These Skills by the Middle of First Grade:
  1. Sound Isolation
    • Identifies initial sounds in one-syllable words.
    • Identifies final sounds in one-syllable words.
    • Identifies medial sounds in one-syllable words.
  2. Sound Blending
    • Blends 3-4 phonemes into a whole word (e.g., /m/ /a/ /n/: man; /s/ /k/ /i/ /p/: skip).
  3. Sound Segmentation
    • Segments 3- and 4-phoneme, one-syllable words (e.g., man: /m/ a/ /n/; skip: /s/ /k/ /i/ /p/).
Phonological Awareness Benchmarks for first grade:
  • 35-45 first sounds per minute by mid-year.
Extensions of Segmenting
By the end of grades 1 and 2, students should be able to demonstrate the following skills:
    1.  Substituting Example: “Nap. What word do we get when we change the /n/ to /c/?” cap (as in rhyming or word family practice)
    2.  Deleting Example: “Flake. What word do we get when we take away /l/ from flake?” fake
    3.  Adding Example: “Mile. What word do we get when we add /s/ to the front of mile?” smile

Phonemic Awareness Benchmarks, Brooklyn Letters

Special thanks to the University of Oregon and their free DIBELS materials! 

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Phonemic Awareness Benchmarks, Brooklyn Letters
Craig Selinger, CEO of Brooklyn Letters (serving Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Bronx, Westchester, Long Island, New Jersey, and Connecticut), is a NY State licensed speech-language therapist (pathologist) and learning specialist with over 18 years of experience working professionally with over a thousand families. His expertise includes early childhood speech-language delay, expressive/receptive language disorders, language-based learning issues, e.g. reading, writing, executive functioning, social/pragmatic communication, and speech production (articulation/enunciation) issues. Check out his interviews with top-notch professionals in the field on Spotify.
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The following two tabs change content below.
Phonemic Awareness Benchmarks, Brooklyn Letters
Craig Selinger, CEO of Brooklyn Letters (serving Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Bronx, Westchester, Long Island, New Jersey, and Connecticut), is a NY State licensed speech-language therapist (pathologist) and learning specialist with over 18 years of experience working professionally with over a thousand families. His expertise includes early childhood speech-language delay, expressive/receptive language disorders, language-based learning issues, e.g. reading, writing, executive functioning, social/pragmatic communication, and speech production (articulation/enunciation) issues. Check out his interviews with top-notch professionals in the field on Spotify.
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