Cooper Elementary parents were treated last week to a nursery rhyme recital by the school's students.
The recitals were part of the kindergarten students' study of phonemic awareness.
"Phonemic awareness is being able to break apart the words and hear the individual sounds in the words," Lisa Ruggles, a Cooper Elementary teacher, said.
Talina Alaniz, a Cooper Elementary kindergarten student, recites “Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary” as part of a nursery rhyme recital. Learning rhymes helps the students better understand how words are constructed.
Each of three kindergarten classes took to the elementary cafeteria and gymnasium to participate in a recital. All students, dressed in costume, sang rhyming songs such as "Mary Mack" and each learned and delivered a nursery rhyme, such as "I Saw a Ship a Sailing," to the delight of their parents.
Students Elijah Baker recited "Jack Be Nimble" and Kennedy Williams recited "Curly Locks."
The recital aided in their understanding of word construction and pronunciation, Ruggles said.
"That's part of the reason we do rhyming, because it helps us with phonemic awareness, and being able to hear the sounds at the beginning, middle and end of the words, and putting them together," she said.
Ruggles's class performed Thursday, preceded by performances from Christie Gruber's kindergarten class on Sept. 27 and Maria Lynn Lehman's class on Sept. 28.
According to Ruggles, a first-year teacher, it was fun doing a show.
"I was a little nervous. This is my first show," she said. "I was a little nervous, some of my kids were a little nervous, but we made it through and we're going to do it again.
Nerves didn't keep Ruggles and her class of more than 25 from giving a second performance that afternoon.
The show is the end result of six weeks of hard work, Ruggles said. Per state standards, students are expected to be able to blend sounds together and say words slowly for correct pronunciation and to better understand how words are constructed.
"We've been studying (phonemic awareness) since the beginning of the year," she said.
At the end of the recital, parents were given a packet with phonemic awareness activities to take home.