2nd Edition

Making Sense of Phonics, 2ed: the hows and whys

$60.99  Softcover
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Isabel L Beck, Mark E Beck

  • Making Sense of Phonics, 2ed
  • Making Sense of Phonics, 2ed
    This bestselling book provides indispensable tools and strategies for explicit, systematic phonics instruction in K-3.

238 pages
ISBN: 9781462511990

This best-selling 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, multi-syllabic 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; the companion website features 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.
  • 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, plus expanded word lists.

Table of Contents

  1. Situating Phonics Instruction
  2. The Alphabetic Principle and Phonics
  3. Phonemic Awareness: A Bit of a Different Take
  4. The Phonics Landscape
  5. Teaching Children the Sounds That Letters Represent
  6. Blending
  7. Word Building
  8. Assessment
  9. Multisyllabic Words
  10. Syllasearch
  11. Orthography: A "Sticking Point" in Word Recognition
  12. Automaticity


  1. Word Building Lists
  2. Specific Phonics Assessments
  3. Word and Syllable Matrices for Syllasearch
  4. The Word Pocket
  5. List of Online Materials


"Like the prior edition, this is a much-needed 'how-to' for classroom teachers that also warrants close attention from education professors and literacy coaches. No other book so thoroughly (but succinctly) summarizes the history of phonics instruction, explicates its role in reading development, and offers such a wealth of ideas for assessment, curriculum, and instruction. Call it 'one-stop shopping' for this pivotal issue in reading instruction! This is a book that preservice and inservice teachers will turn to repeatedly, long after purchase. It is a great text for undergraduate methods classes and reading endorsement master's classes, as well as a resource for professional learning communities."
- Kathleen J. Brown, PhD, Director, University of Utah Reading Clinic

"I recommend this second edition as a text for preservice and inservice teacher education courses. The book not only demonstrates how to teach a variety of phonics strategies, but also explains why the strategies need to be taught this way. Teachers will appreciate the examples of students' misconceptions, as well as the word lists and assessment tools in the appendices."
- Barbara R. Foorman, PhD, Francis Eppes Professor of Education and Director, Florida Center for Reading Research, Florida State University

"I am certain that teachers—and all professionals interested in making sure children learn to read well—will find this book thought provoking and invaluable. The seminal research presented is rigorous yet highly accessible, and is illustrated with instructive, entertaining anecdotes. The new and expanded chapters in the second edition provide an eloquent picture of the challenging tasks that young children face as they learn to read, and show how to help them surmount these challenges."
- Carol McDonald Connor, PhD, Learning Sciences Institute and Department of Psychology, Arizona State University