At Chapin School, our youngest students from Explorers Three through Second Grade are developing their phonemic awareness skills with two complementary research-based programs, Heggerty Phonemic Awareness and Fundations. The two programs work well together because each provides important foundational skills in literacy development. Fundations provides a strong phonics approach which contributes greatly to fluency, vocabulary development, and the applications of strategies for understanding text. Heggerty provides a strong and systematic approach to phonemic (sounds of letters) awareness. The daily Heggerty auditory practice promotes proficiency in the sounds (phonemes) of letters and spoken language. With Heggerty, students work with manipulating sounds & sounds in words. Together, they are a complete program for phonemic awareness and phonics.
Denee Dill, Chapin’s Reading Specialist and Director of Academics, is passionate about teaching reading at all levels, including professional development for her colleagues.
She says, “Making time for collaboration with each grade level team and having embedded professional development is a great way for teachers to share best practices. I am thrilled to bring this structured literacy approach to the growing readers in early grades. Having a solid foundation in phonemic awareness and phonics practices is a terrific predictor of how well children will learn to read during the first years of school instruction.”
Walking through halls where our youngest students learn, a casual observer sees students and teachers making roller coasters or chopping motions with their arms and hands. Teachers support students to make a mind-body connection, helping them to internalize these literacy practices. The use of sound and movement is part of their structured, multisensory literacy instruction.
If you would like more information on the Heggerty and Fundations programs, please click the links below.