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Phonological Awareness Benchmarks

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

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., m-a-n; s-k-i-p).

Phonological Awareness Benchmark for first grade:

  •  35-45 first sounds per minute by mid-year

Second Grade:

By the end of grades 1 and 2, students should be able to demonstrate the following skills:

  1. SubstitutingExample: “Nap. What word do we get when we change the /n/ to /c/?” (as in rhyming or word family practice).
  2. DeletingExample: “Flake. What word do we get when we take away /l/ from flake?”
  3. AddingExample: “Mile. What word do we get when we add /s/ to the front of mile?”

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