Making Sense of Phonics, Second Edition: The Hows and Whys Info

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This bestselling book provides indispensable tools and
strategies for explicit, systematic phonics instruction in K-3.
Teachers learn effective ways to build students' decoding skills by
teaching letter-sound relationships, blending, word building,
multisyllabic decoding, fluency, and more. The volume is packed with
engaging classroom activities, many specific examples, and
research-based explanations. It offers a complete phonics assessment and
clear guidelines for sequencing instruction to give every student a
strong foundation for reading. More than 30 reproducible forms and word
lists are included in the appendices. Purchasers get access to a Web
page where they can download and print the reproducible materials in a
convenient 8 1/2" x 11" size and find a wealth of supplemental
teaching resources.
 
New to This
Edition
*Six additional chapters covering key topics,
including assessment, phonemic awareness, orthography, and
automaticity.
*A complete phonics assessment with
administering and scoring guidelines.
*Downloadable forms and
word lists, plus a companion website with rich supplemental resources,
including word/syllable cards, assessment tools, and illustrated stories
featuring target words, which teachers can project or print for
classroom use.
*More classroom examples and "Your
Turn" activities, as well as expanded word lists.



See also Bringing Words to Life, Second Edition: Robust Vocabulary
Instruction
and Creating Robust Vocabulary: Frequently Asked
Questions and Extended Examples
, by Isabel L. Beck, Margaret G.
McKeown, and Linda Kucan, which provide essential tools for K-12
vocabulary instruction.

 

Average Ratings and Reviews
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Reviews for Making Sense of Phonics, Second Edition: The Hows and Whys:

1

Jul 26, 2018

Do not bother with this book. I was looking for some fresh perspectives, ideas, strategies, and resources. You will find none of that in this book. If you need convincing here’s a list of some of the problems I had with this book.

- It is written with an air of condescension. The authors portray teachers as confused and undereducated rather than professionals.
- The authors present the long and controversial history of reading instruction from a very one sided perspective. Obviously the book is Do not bother with this book. I was looking for some fresh perspectives, ideas, strategies, and resources. You will find none of that in this book. If you need convincing here’s a list of some of the problems I had with this book.

- It is written with an air of condescension. The authors portray teachers as confused and undereducated rather than professionals.
- The authors present the long and controversial history of reading instruction from a very one sided perspective. Obviously the book is about phonics but I expect current resources to be well rounded, unbiased, and current.
- Much research has been conducted regarding phonics, especially in the 1970s-1990s. The author relies on that research. If there isn’t enough current research is there a need for the book? I’m not sure which educators at this point haven’t already been trained with the benefit of that research.
- The one and only digital resource that was mentioned was a computer program developed in...wait for it...1987 and was created by the author. That’s 31 years ago.
- Almost all proposed strategies are teacher directed. They are so terrible the authors have been compelled to include classroom managements tips bc they admit that it will be hard to keep student’s attention.
- In that same vein the authors say, when trying to show that reading is a very complex task, “that reading appears to be such a mundane endeavor”. Don’t worry, they follow that comment with an explanation from 1987. ...more
5

Nov 11, 2018

I read the 2nd edition, which is expanded significantly. This is an essential resource for teachers of early literacy. I read it on the recommendation of a colleague in preparation for a presentation to the State Board of Education on new teacher preparation standards for early elementary teachers, as we've been challenged by individuals who know little of the work of teaching or literacy development to demonstrate that the new standards incorporate the recommendations of "phonics experts." They I read the 2nd edition, which is expanded significantly. This is an essential resource for teachers of early literacy. I read it on the recommendation of a colleague in preparation for a presentation to the State Board of Education on new teacher preparation standards for early elementary teachers, as we've been challenged by individuals who know little of the work of teaching or literacy development to demonstrate that the new standards incorporate the recommendations of "phonics experts." They do, and this book reinforces that conclusion with its clear message of the central importance of sound-print matching to further achievements in reading and of the integration of phonemic awareness, phonological awareness, explicit phonics, vocabulary and spelling activities in early literacy instruction.

That said, avoid the Kindle edition of this book. As with other Guilford publications, it's in a page-image format; that is, image files replicate the look of each page of the paper edition, and do not allow for use of Kindle's powerful text formatting tools to improve readability. The font is serifed, the file is not compatible with Kindle for Windows (i.e., you have to read it on a screen smaller than actual book size), and the only recourse is to enlarge the text to a point where one must scroll in all directions to navigate a page. Unnecessary inconvenience for a $20+ ebook, or wreck one's eyes. Get it in print! ...more
3

May 22, 2017

A solidly academic book that's engagingly written? And that's fewer than 150 pages? Yes, please! This book is a great introduction to—you guessed it—the how's and why's of teaching phonics, fleshed out with personal anecdotes. In fact, I'm interested enough to read the second edition, which was expanded to include twice as much information.
4

Jun 24, 2019

Read this for a graduate course I'm taking. It was SUPER helpful in my understanding of phonics :)
5

Dec 24, 2019

A very helpful review of phonics and other language concepts for informing interventions for struggling readers.
4

Sep 25, 2019

I actually read the 2nd edition, but it provides a lot of actionable suggestions! Easy to read!
3

Sep 05, 2012

I thought this was a good book that really makes you evaluate how you are currently teaching phonics and why it is important that children can a basic understanding of how each letter sounds and how the sounds work together. The author also offers strategies that teachers can use in their classroom to teach phonics and situations where her strategies can help supplement what is already being taught. The author draws from her experience as a teacher of children and adults that were having I thought this was a good book that really makes you evaluate how you are currently teaching phonics and why it is important that children can a basic understanding of how each letter sounds and how the sounds work together. The author also offers strategies that teachers can use in their classroom to teach phonics and situations where her strategies can help supplement what is already being taught. The author draws from her experience as a teacher of children and adults that were having difficulty reading. The book is easy to read and provides a lot of helpful information in the appendices. I definatley would recommend it to educators and anyone trying to help children become successful readers. ...more
5

Jun 01, 2016

This book changed my perspective on phonics instruction! I particularly appreciated two things: the summary of relevant research followed by easy-to-implement classroom activities, and (what I interpreted as) a reconciliation between phonics versus whole-language reading instruction. The authors emphasize the importance of phonics instruction, but they also highlight the importance of providing students with opportunities to apply their skills to connected text.
3

Feb 27, 2009

So this book is obviously not a gripping thriller, but it did lay out a progression of skills and lessons. I found the book the be very helpful, and was able to use some of the mini-lessons with great success! If you want to know about phonics this is a great book with which to practice methods.
5

Mar 18, 2014

Use this book all the time! The lessons and activities are simple and can be implemented right away without much prep work. I love the game Syllasearch - targets blending multisyllabic words. Engaging and effective!
4

Nov 10, 2012

Great background info on how we learn how to read. Practical activities to try with struggling readers.
5

Feb 27, 2008

I use this book to help teach phonics to my son. I really like her method.

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