Four Levels of Phonological Awareness

It has been said that a student’s level of phonological awareness at the end of kindergarten is one of the strongest predictors of future reading success. With the expectations of our kindergartners today, we can see the effect of strong phonological awareness early on in a student’s academic career.

Phonological awareness is a process that all successful readers go through. In the simplest terms, it is the understanding that sentences are made of words, words are made of syllables, and syllables are made of phonemes. Phonological awareness is a broad term that can easily be broken down into four levels.


Phonological awareness is a process that all successful readers go through. In the simplest terms, it is the understanding that sentences are made of words, words are made of syllables, and syllables are made of phonemes. Phonological awareness is a broad term that can easily be broken down into four levels.

  1. Word Awareness
  2. Syllable Awareness
  3. Within-Syllable Awareness
  4. Phonemic Awareness

50 Back to School Bulletin Boards

Last week we posted welcome back-to-school doors but we realize not everyone is allowed to decorate their door or you may be on an open classroom campus and not have any doors at all! So this week we bring you ideas for welcome back-to-school bulletin boards.

The great thing about bulletin boards is you can use them to welcome students in school common areas, grade level hallways, or inside your classroom. We hope things examples will give you some inspiration.

The great thing about bulletin boards is you can use them to welcome students in school common areas, grade level hallways, or inside your classroom. We hope things examples will give you some inspiration.

Visible Learning for Literacy: Determining Impact on Your Teaching

Reflection is an essential part of being an educator. If our lessons are not leaving a lasting impact on our students, then we are doing something wrong... not the students. A lasting impact does not mean the lesson was fun. A lasting impact does not mean that the students liked the lesson. An impact occurs when your lesson has a strong effect on your students and their academic careers.

Reflection is an essential part of being an educator. If our lessons are not leaving a lasting impact on our students, then we are doing something wrong... not the students. A lasting impact does not mean the lesson was fun. A lasting impact does not mean that the students liked the lesson. An impact occurs when your lesson has a strong effect on your students and their academic careers.

4 Apps Better for Kids Than Pokemon

Whether you love it or hate it - or don't know what it is - Pokemon Go is one of the most popular apps in the world right now. Here are some alternatives created intentionally to foster learning, making them a truly worthwhile time investment. For fun, and since Pokemon's from Japan, I'll count the 4 apps in Japanese - Ichi, Ni, San, Go!

40 Ideas for Back to School Classroom Doors

There is something about a freshly decorated classroom door that just says “Welcome Back to School”. Of course the options for dressing up your door are truly limitless but there are a few things to consider when planning your masterpiece.

There is something about a freshly decorated classroom door that just says “Welcome Back to School”. Of course the options for dressing up your door are truly limitless but there are a few things to consider when planning your masterpiece.

1. Adding students’ names: The pro to this is that students feel an immediate sense of belonging when they see their names. The con is that it puts a little more pressure on the teacher if you are on a campus that doesn’t give out class lists until the last minute or likes to play musical students right up until the first bell rings.

Visible Learning for Literacy: Transfer Learning

Transfer learning is one of the most important skills we can teach our students. Simply stated, transfer learning is when we use prior knowledge or schema in new situations. If we want our students to become lifelong learners (which of course we do), then we need to teach them how to harness their knowledge and skills and apply them to situations in and outside of school.

Transfer learning is one of the most important skills we can teach our students. Simply stated, transfer learning is when we use prior knowledge or schema in new situations. If we want our students to become lifelong learners (which of course we do), then we need to teach them how to harness their knowledge and skills and apply them to situations in and outside of school.

5 Books for the 1st Day of School

There is a long standing tradition in the elementary classroom of starting the new school year by reading a picture book or two to calm those first day jitters. If you're looking for a new selection to share this year, you'll want to check out Ally-saurus & the First Day of School!

There is a long standing tradition in the elementary classroom of starting the new school year by reading a picture book or two to calm those first day jitters. If you're looking for a new selection to share this year, you'll want to check out Ally-saurus & the First Day of School!

What does a dinosaur, lion, and dragon have in common? They all live in the imaginations of children that become friends on the first day of school in Richard Torrey's ALLY-SAURUS & the First Day of School.

Visible Learning for Literacy: Deep Literacy Learning

According to MENSA, only about 2% of the population are considered geniuses. Fisher, et al. suggest that at some point in their childhood, each of these geniuses had a teacher that provided learning experiences that were relevant and meaningful to them. That may be the case, but whether or not someone is considered a genius we know that students will learn more when they can take their surface level learning and apply it to something that is relevant to them.


In thinking about the differences between surface and deep learning, it really comes down to how and why learners are learning. Deep learners interact with content and ideas to make connections between concepts and knowledge. So how do we help our students achieve deep learning?