Monday, February 13, 2006

Charms are hired from out of their eyes

Please beware of them that stare
They'll only smile to see you while
Your time away
And once you've seen what they have been
To win the earth just won't seem worth
Your night or your day
Nick Drake, "Things Behind the Sun"

I weary of recording the petty personal dramas of my day. I talk to MA at work and we smile and joke but we're not close anymore; I text Ram and we discuss having dinner but I still feel betrayed. It goes on and on.

Class was Reading I. We discussed phonemic awareness. What is phonemic awareness, I hear you eagerly shout?

Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear the individual sounds, or phonemes, in words and eventually to manipulate those sounds. Children learn this skill through practice in rhyme, alliteration, the segmentation of sentences, the blending and segmenting of syllables, the recognition of onsets and rimes (the sound before a vowel in a word is the onset, and the sounds after the vowel is a rime: gr/een), and finally the manipulation of individual phonemes. Thus, if a child knows that the word church has three phonemes (/ch/, /ur/ and /ch/), he or she has phonemic awareness.

It's arguably the key ability in preparation for fluency in reading. The alphabetic principle (which is the understanding that certain letters are associated with certain sounds) and phonics (which is the understanding that symbols --- letters --- can be put together to make words) follow, but phonetic awareness is said to be the major factor in understanding text.

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