What is Phonemic Awareness?
Phonemic awareness is the ability to understand that spoken words are made up of individual sounds called phonemes, and it’s one of the best early predictors for reading success.
of 4th graders and 66% of 8th graders are reading below a proficient level, according to 2019 NAEP scores.
of elementary students are capable of learning to read when they receive sufficient instruction on foundational reading skills.
of teachers surveyed said Heggerty meets or exceeds their expectations when it comes to having a positive impact on learning outcomes
What separates Heggerty Phonemic Awareness from other literacy curricula?
Phonemic awareness is the strongest predictor of success in learning to read. It’s a better indicator than tests of general intelligence, reading readiness, and listening comprehension. (Stanovich, 1986, 1994)
The research supporting phonemic awareness is overwhelming, yet most literacy curricula place little emphasis on it. Heggerty Phonemic Awareness is designed to provide daily instruction in eight phonological and phonemic awareness skills. Students practice blending, segmenting, and manipulating words, syllables, and phonemes each day. With daily lessons, students are able to build the necessary foundation to become automatic decoders of print.
Are the Heggerty Phonemic Awareness curricula cost effective?
Yes! Because phonemic awareness is an auditory skill, there are no student components to purchase. Other than the curriculum itself, each teacher only needs a set of letter flashcards for daily letter naming activities. Basic A–Z cards can be found in most primary classrooms, and we offer some of the advanced cards (blends, digraphs, vowel teams, inflectional endings etc.) as downloadable PDFs that can be printed on heavier stock paper.
When compared to other curriculum purchases that include textbooks, workbooks, and other items, Heggerty Phonemic Awareness can save thousands of dollars per classroom.
How will I see results?
A child’s development of phonemic awareness is evident in their reading and writing. Teachers will notice improvement in a child’s ability to decode words in reading and see their understanding of sounds improve in the way they spell and write words independently.
Student progress with the skills can also be measured through phonemic awareness assessments. Formal assessment can be administered individually to students. Assessments are available on our website, but are not required to use the curriculum.
What materials are needed to teach the lessons?
Each classroom teacher needs a copy of the curriculum manual for their grade level. The lessons are oral and auditory, so there are no student materials needed. The curriculum manual can be purchased once and then used each school year.
What should I be looking for when I observe a phonemic awareness lesson?
Pace: The lessons are meant to be fast-paced and completed within 10–12 minutes
Student engagement: All students should be participating and responding aloud to the activities led by the teacher.
Complete Lesson: Teachers should teach all 9–10 lesson components every day.
Hand Motions: Some of the skills include hand motion directions within the curriculum manual. Teachers model these hand motions for students and students may use the hand motions during the activity.
Oral and Auditory Lessons: Phonemic awareness lessons do not include print. The teacher should not write out any of the words in the lessons for students.
Heggerty is the most structured and systematic curriculum that I’ve seen. Everyone is really excited about it. It’s fun to watch. The kids like it too.
It's one of the most worthwhile purchases the district has ever made. Everyone is happy with it -- it's 100%! We've done a lot of site tours to see how the implementation is going, and good anecdotal stories just keep coming from the instructors. I honestly haven't heard anything negative.
When you look for programs out there, there are hundreds of phonics programs but very few phonemic awareness programs that take students from the simplest to advanced forms. Heggerty has come out with a comprehensive and systematic way to do that. It follows an excellent scope and sequence. It develops all of the skills they need to know. No one does it as systematically as Heggerty.
The Heggerty curriculum is consistent, repetitive, and presents the same skill in different ways. I've taken kids who were non-readers and after three to four months with the Heggerty program, they hear sounds and words and they segment and blend words which makes them better readers. It's the intermediary step between non-readers and readers.
The Heggerty Phonemic Awareness program is brilliant. It requires very little preparation and the lessons are engaging, quick, fun, and effective. The results speak for themselves, with a majority of students showing improved outcomes in both reading and writing.
Dr. Heggerty's program is easy to implement and requires very little preparation. We have used this program for one year and have seen fabulous gains in our students’ ability to attempt unfamiliar words in their writing.
I purchased ALL the flash cards and love them! P.S. I love the updated Kinder "Blue Book!" My students are doing great...even virtual! That says a lot!
Comprehensive, yet succinctly organized, logically arranged, and richly resourced. The Heggerty Phonemic Awareness curriculum is the best research-based program for foundational literacy I have ever seen. Its value for hard-of-hearing & students struggling with central auditory processing issue is clearly applicable.
This curriculum has had a powerfully positive effect on student achievement in eastern Montana schools. Student early literacy assessment scores have improved greatly in the schools that have begun using this curriculum over the past 2-3 years.
This is the best program I have EVER used! A few minutes a day and the results are mind blowing!
Strong phonemic awareness is crucial to reading success! Heggerty lessons are quick, fun, and multisensory!
I use this curriculum in my classroom almost every single day! It is incredible and it is the ONLY thing that makes sense about teaching reading! I am literally obsessed.
Our kindergarten and first grade used it last year and now it is being used in second grade! It has made a huge difference!!
We use your methods daily. The kids skills are improving, and we couldn't be more excited for them! Thank you for providing such an amazing program that is really worth the time and effort.
Research & Findings
The lack of phonemic awareness is the most powerful determinant of the likelihood of failure to read.
Every point in a child’s development of word-level reading is substantially affected by phonological awareness...
Phonemic awareness training provides the foundation on which phonics instruction is built...
Phonemic awareness is central in learning to read and spell.
Phonemic awareness is the most important core and causal factor in separating normal and disabled readers.
The two best predictors of early reading success are alphabet recognition and phonemic awareness.
Phonemic awareness has been shown to be a very powerful predictor of later reading achievement.
Phonemic awareness is the most potent predictor of success in learning to read.
(Stanovich, 1996, 1994)
Yes, there really is a difference in brain activation patterns between good and poor readers.
The most comprehensive reading program EXPLICITLY [sic] teaches about the sounds of language.
ALL [sic] children can benefit from being taught directly how to break up spoken words into smaller units and how letters represent sounds.