Friday, June 24, 2022


A K-8 LKDSB online conference for educators to rebuild, reconnect, refresh, & reflect.

August 29 & 31, 2022

Save the date!

Friday, May 20, 2022

Student Literacy Development of Phonemic Awareness using Heggerty

What is Phonemic Awareness?

Phonological awareness and phonemic awareness are oral and auditory, they focus on the sounds in words. Phonemic awareness and phonics are not the same.  Phonics involves print and focuses on letters and the sounds they represent.

Why Should We Teach Phonemic Awareness?

According to the Right to Read Report, written by The Ontario Human Rights Commission, “...the best way to teach all students to read words is through direct, explicit, systematic instruction in foundational word-reading skills” (p. 20).  This should include explicit instruction in phonemic awareness. 

 Effective Early Reading Instruction: A Guide for Teachers

This guide is intended to support teachers’ ongoing efforts to build students’ reading skills. It provides teachers with information on foundational early reading skills, an understanding of how these skills develop in young children, and examples of evidence-based systematic and explicit instructional strategies to support students to become proficient and fluent readers.

 How Can I Implement Phonemic Awareness Instruction?

The Heggerty Phonemic Awareness Curriculum is a 35-week curriculum of daily explicit and systematic phonological and phonemic awareness lessons that are done through teacher modeling. It is an evidence-based curriculum that uses a scope and sequence of phonemic awareness skills. 

Whole class instruction is considered Tier 1 Instruction.  Based on assessment data, the Heggerty Phonemic Awareness Curriculum can also be used to differentiate instruction and provide support to a small group of students who need additional practice of targeted phonemic awareness skills (Tier 2). The Heggerty Curriculum could also be used for one-on-one instruction (Tier 3).


Pre-K Heggerty Curriculum

Kindergarten Heggerty Curriculum

Primary Heggerty Curriculum

Supports JK Students

Supports SK Students

Supports Grade 1 & 2 Students


What are the Phonemic Awareness Skills?

Heggerty Skill Tutorials

1. Rhyming

2. Onset Fluency

3. Blending (Words, Syllables, Onset-Rime, & Phonemes)

4. Isolating Final or Medial Sounds

5. Segmenting (Words, Syllables, Onset-Rime, & Phonemes)

6. Adding

7. Deleting

8. Substituting (begins in Week 19 in Pre-K)


Heggerty Tips

·         Students should be learning with the curriculum designated for their grade (Pre-K for JK; K for SK; Primary for Grade 1 and Grade 2).
·        Daily Lessons (Monday-Friday) with a whole group (Tier 1)
·        A classroom lesson should not exceed 15 minutes. If it does…do not skip skills! Reduce the number of words used with each skill, but still practice all of the skills.
·         All students participate by responding orally.
·         The only print the students see is letter cards for teaching Letter Naming & nursery rhymes
·         Hand Motions or Gestures support the development of the skills.  Learn about them here- Phonemic Awareness Hand Motions
·         Lessons can be used in small groups to provide intervention and support for students who need additional support with targeted skills instruction (Tier 2)

·         Heggerty supports a component of developing skilled reading: Word Recognition: Phonological Awareness-one part of the "reading rope" for reading instruction

Scarborough's Reading Rope and the Simple View of Reading


Heggerty Resources:

·         Heggerty Website

·         Reading Benchmark Assessment System SharePoint there is a folder (in the documents section) for Heggerty screeners for assessing student’s phonemic awareness

·         Heggerty Blog: Check out numerous resources, how to videos, lessons etc.

·         Heggerty Phonemic Awareness on You Tube

·        LKDSB training Session for Heggerty:  June 7th at 4pm. 

Heggerty Recording June