This post originally appeared on the blog Whole Hearted Teaching.

When I began the school year this past August, most of my classroom was well below grade level in reading. I knew that I needed a year long systematic phonemic awareness program but I couldn’t find anything to fit the bill that was also reasonably priced. Therefore I did what any teacher would do, I researched and read… a lot! From there, I began implementing my own phonemic awareness program and to my joy, it worked. Not only did it work, it worked incredibly well!

I saw all of my students go from below grade level to being on grade level in a matter of months. Five of my firsties came to me reading on an AA level and by January they were reading on an E or F. I contribute most of that success to this amazing program. At the end of the year, all 27 of my students were above grade level in phonemic awareness and on level or above for reading. But more importantly they loved reading and using this program!

My phonemic awareness program is 9 units, or 180 days, of systemic, straightforward instruction made by a teacher for teachers. Phonemic awareness has been missing in many lower elementary classrooms for years, simply because it has been thought to be unnecessary due to phonics instructions. Yet, phonics is the study of graphemes (letters) with a focus on print to get children reading and writing. Phonemic awareness, on the other hand, focuses on phonemes (sounds), it is all auditory, and it helps children with their ability to manipulate sounds. With a strong foundation in phonemic awareness, children can easily grasp phonics concepts.

These units are an amazing way to add a much-needed concept into your classroom in just 10-15 minutes a day! Every day includes the following:
-Language Awareness
-Deleting Phonemes
-Adding Phonemes
-Substituting Phonemes

Each unit builds on the previous one as students continue to move from large concepts such as compound words to breaking apart words into 7 or 8 phonemes! It is incredible what our students are capable of. Every day has brief instructions and many include hand motions. Here are example hand motions for unit 1:

Not only is this classroom tested by me, but it has also been classroom tested by over 100 teachers with rave reviews! Most recently I received this feedback: “This is exactly what I was looking for to build my kindergarteners’ phonemic awareness skills. I use it for whole group instruction and then pieces of it during guided reading groups. I saw a difference in only a few days of use!”

I recently had a teacher contact me to say that her entire building wants to purchase this curriculum because it was so successful in her room. 

A few days and you too can see a difference in your classroom! The growing bundle is available here! These are no prep lessons, simply print and go. Everything you need from instructions to words are right in front of you. I also use this program in conjunction with phonemic awareness activities. Here is one of my littles completing a blending activity:

Phonemic awareness is a blast for the PreK to 2nd grade crowd, and why wouldn’t it be? If we make it fun, the children are bound to think it is fun! My students love using hand motions, and phonemic awareness is never seen as difficult to them as it has slowly built on itself! Students beg to complete this program, and I love seeing the joy they take in their own learning.

Would you like to give this a try in your own classroom? Here is one day for FREE! Unit 1 is available here and the whole year growing bundle is available here. The growing bundle currently includes units 1-5 (100 days of instruction) with unit 6 being added shortly.


Whole Hearted TeachingKelsey was a social worker who became a teacher through happenstance, hard work, and passion. She teaches 1st grade in the Mississippi Delta where she relentlessly annoys her co-workers with her quirky habit of disregarding the status quo. One time her classroom was even referred to as the Woodstock of public education and she can see why with her no shoe policy, yoga breaks, and Montessori/Waldorf inspired style. You can join Kelsey online at her TpT store, blog, Facebook Page, Pinterest, or Instagram. She would love to collaborate and continue learning alongside you.