I Think I Can! Developing Confidence with Phonological Awareness
By Terra Tarango
As I watch my grown children start to navigate the adult world, I’m struck by how much I underestimated confidence as a key ingredient in their success. Whether it’s interviewing for jobs or applying for colleges, just the right amount of confidence, expressed in just the right way, can mean the difference between getting what you want or being disappointed.
Confidence is the catalyst that moves us from inspiration to action. We want to develop confidence in our youngest learners so that they use the knowledge and skills we teach them to change the world and make it a better place.
Our children come to us with varying degrees of confidence. Some have too much and need to be grounded in a bit of reality; others have too little and need it coaxed out of them. So I encourage teachers to create as many opportunities as possible for our children to experience leadership. Give them permission to be a leader. Guide them individually in how to do it well.
Perhaps start with a brief game of “Follow the Leader,” where you invite different children to lead as the class marches, walks, or jumps in a line around the room. Notice how each child responds to the leadership role. If they are having trouble making decisions, encourage them by saying: There’s no wrong decision here. You can do this! If they are making decisions without checking to make sure the rest of the line is following, remind them: A good leader makes sure their team is following along. Giving children permission to be confident and providing the community to support it is a critical component to their success in preschool and beyond!
A healthy dose of confidence bolsters children’s ability to find their voice, so why not follow this activity with helping them literally find their voice? My friends at InvestiGator Club have used this as the perfect segue to work on phonological awareness of beginning sounds!
Gather children and say: Just like our line had a leader, words have a leader too. Every word has a beginning sound, the very first part of the word. Today we’re going to talk about beginning sounds in words.
Here are a few activities you can do to practice this skill at all ages.
Just like the little engine that could, when children have confidence in themselves, they can do amazing things. I invite you to develop their confidence with leadership opportunities and then to build their understanding of beginning sounds with any of these activities.
Let us know how it goes!
If you liked this sneak peek and want more activities like this, then check out InvestiGator Club’s samplers and components. You can download the Get Ready for Kindergarten! Summer School Sampler along with other samplers and component lists to learn more about InvestiGator Club’s scaffolded programs.