Elementary Essentials: How Phonemic Awareness & Phonics Shape Lifelong Readers with Kristina Harrill [The Fab 5 of Literacy Series]

Phonics and phonemic awareness play a crucial role in our end goal of reading comprehension, and it is so important that our students are learning these foundational skills, regardless of their grade. But how can you fit phonemic awareness lessons into your already packed schedule?

Kristina Harrill of Sweet for Kindergarten is joining us today to share all about the importance of phonics and phonemic awareness instruction. By focusing on explicitly teaching these foundational skills, identifying any gaps in these skills, and ensuring your students get the phonemic awareness and phonics practice they need, you can help your students become successful readers.

In this episode, Kristina is diving into phonemic awareness and phonics instruction. She shares the difference between phonics and phonemic awareness, the difference between balanced literacy and structured literacy, and why teachers should be focused on teaching phonics and phonemic awareness. Plus, she is sharing how to easily implement phonemic awareness practice into your busy day!

Episode Highlights:

03:31 – What the difference is between phonemic awareness and phonics

06:15 – Why phonics and phonemic awareness are such hot topics right now

09:49  How lacking these foundational skills impact the end goal of reading comprehension

12:23 – Why all grades, including upper elementary, should be teaching phonics and phonemic awareness and addressing any gaps in these skills

16:58 – How teachers can support struggling readers and how a daily routine can be incredibly beneficial

Our Guest on This Episode:


Kristina taught Kindergarten for 6 years but now stays home with her little ones. She founded Sweet for Kindergarten to help support Pre-K, Kindergarten, and First Grade educators with research-based phonics ideas, curriculum, and trainings to help teachers create simple and engaging phonics instruction in classrooms everywhere.

You can check out the Sweet for Kindergarten website, join the Kindergarten Tips & Tricks Facebook group, follow Kristina on Instagram @sweetforkindergarten, and email her at [email protected]

Never Miss An Episode!

Subscribe to The Literacy Lounge on your favorite podcast app.

Welcome to The Literacy Lounge!

This is a podcast designed for elementary school teachers and homeschool parents on a mission to master the art of literacy instruction and cultivate a love of reading in students. Join your host, Ciera Harris, as she opens the door to a world of transformative teaching strategies that will make you a literacy champion in your classroom.