Every teaching activity needs to be assessed so that its productivity and possibility of further implementation could be checked. It is especially crucial to evaluate the results of pre-school phonic and phonemic awareness tasks because they have a great impact on the development of children’s reading abilities (Hulme, Bowyer-Crane, Carroll, Duff, & Snowling, 2012). Poor teaching planning is responsible for insufficient achievements of pupils (Oyetunde, Ojo, Korb, & Babudoh, 2016), whereas well-developed phonological drills may increase the children’s reading skills quite sufficiently (Melby-Lervåg & Lyster, 2012). Thus, evaluation of the teaching plan is necessary to ensure its educational benefits.
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Post-Assessment Plan for the Phonic and Phonemic Awareness
After performing the activities mentioned in the lesson plan (making reference to visual materials around the classroom, creating rap patterns, role-playing, and differentiating between the oppositions), the following assessment strategies may be employed to check the children’s phonemic awareness.
Pointing out Elements in Pictures
To check the acquisition of this activity, the teacher shows pupils some pictures of animals. Then, he/she can ask a pupil to choose the animal that is being described (for example, “this animal has the longest tail,” “this animal has blue eyes”).
Making Reference to Visual Materials Around the Classroom
To evaluate how well pupils can make reference to visual material, the teacher can either ask the same questions but use the different visual material or use the same material but ask different questions. For example, a teacher may ask, “Can you show me where a cow lives?” and the children are expected to point to a picture of a stable. Another good way of assessing the acquisition of domestic animals’ names is to ask children which animals can live close to each other (pigs, cows, horses), which of them love water (ducks), which can stay in the house (cat). By asking these questions, along with using pictures, a teacher will be able to see how well the children learned animals’ names.
Creating Rap Patterns
To check the mastery of this skill, a teacher may tell pupil a word and ask him/her to name words rhyming with that word. Even if the child’s rhymes are not very precise (for instance, cat – sad), it will still demonstrate that he/she understands how to create rhymes.
Another way of evaluating this skill is to tell pupils several words and ask them to say whether they rhyme or not (cat – mat – bat: yes; dog – frog – owl: no). The children should specify which word is different from the others.
To assess this activity, a teacher may choose one learner and whisper him/her a name of some animal. The child will be asked to imitate that animal without sounding it. The teacher should ask all the other children to raise their hand if they know the correct answer. Special attention should be paid to those pupils who did not raise their hands. Sometimes, a child may feel ashamed to raise hand because he/she does not feel sure about the answer. However, if a teacher asks the children who have not rised their hand and sees that they indeed do not know the answer, it will be a sign that additional work related to the development of this activity is necessary.
Differentiating between the Oppositions
Finally, to check children’s acquisition of this activity, a teacher may show pictures of pairs of animals and encourage children to say the adjectives which can describe those animals (cow – cat: big – small; horse – duck: fast – slow). To make this task easier, the teacher may choose to tell one adjective and only ask the children to suggest the second.
Utilizing the Assessment Results
The results of the assessment can be used to guide the next lesson plans. The impact of phonemic awareness on reading comprehension has been the object of investigation of many research studies (Carlson, Jenkins, Li, & Brownell, 2013). Thus, teachers should pay particular attention to the outcomes of the phonic awareness assessment. By employing the mentioned assessment methods, the teacher will check pupils’ phonic and phonemic awareness and predict their readiness for further stages of learning. Working in small groups is a rather productive way of building the kindergarten children’s skills (Fuligni, Howes, Huang, Hong, & Lara-Cinisomo, 2012). Thus, if serious problems arise, the teacher should change his/her methods.
The most important function of the assessment is that it allows a teacher to note the children’s progress. Thus, it is necessary to keep the record of all answers of the assessment activities. Then, the teacher should make notes of the most typical mistakes made by pupils. These problematic activities should be practiced more, and then another assessment should be performed. However, the teacher should not only pay attention to typical errors. He or she should thoroughly analyze the answers of every child, and an individual approach is necessary to cope with every pupil’s difficulties. The teacher may devote some time to these problems at school and also ask parents to do some exercises at home, which will enable better outcomes.
If the assessment shows low results, it is necessary to pay more attention to some of the activities or come up with other ones. The teacher should keep in mind how crucial language development in young children is and utilize all possible resources and methods to provide the best acquisition.
Carlson, E., Jenkins, F, Li, T., & Brownell, M. (2013). The interactions of vocabulary, phonemic awareness, decoding, and reading comprehension. The Journal of Educational Research, 106(2), 120-131.
Fuligni, A. S., Howes, C., Huang, Y., Hong, S. S., & Lara-Cinisomo, S. (2012). Activity settings and daily routines in preschool classrooms: Diverse experiences in early learning settings for low-income children. Early Childhood Research Quarterly,27(2), 198-209.
Hulme, C., Bowyer-Crane, C., Carroll, J. M., Duff, F., & Snowling, M. J. (2012). The causal role of phoneme awareness and letter-sound knowledge in learning to read: Combining intervention studies with mediation analyses. Psychological Science, 23(6), 572-577.
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Melby-Lervåg, M., & Lyster, S.-A. H. (2012). Phonological skills and their role in learning to read: A meta-analytic review. Psychological Bulletin, 138(2), 322-352.
Oyetunde, T. O., Ojo, G., Korb, K. A., & Babudoh, G. (2016). Improving literacy instructional practices in primary schools in Nigeria: Strategies that work. Literacy Information and Computer Education Journal, 6(2), 2323-2328.