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From bestselling author Isabel L. Beck--an experienced educator who knows what works--this concise volume provides a wealth of practical ideas for building children's decoding skills by teaching letter-sound relationships, blending, word building, and multisyllable words. Straightforward and accessible, the strategies presented for explicit, systematic phonics instruction are ideal for use in primary-grade classrooms or with older students who are having difficulties. Many specific examples bring the instructional procedures to life while elucidating their underlying rationale; appendices include reproducible curriculum materials.
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Isabel L. Beck, PhD, is Professor Emerita of Education in the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh. She has conducted research and published widely in the areas of decoding, vocabulary, and comprehension. Her contributions have been acknowledged by awards from the International Reading Association, the National Reading Conference, and the American Federation of Teachers, and she is an elected member of the National Academy of Education.Review:
"In this book, Isabel Beck brings the subject of phonics to life in a sensitive, clear presentation, which itself serves as a lesson in how to teach. Elementary teachers who use this book will enjoy reading and teaching from it, and their students are sure to benefit from the author's precise, thoughtful approach."--Sharon Vaughn, PhD, Department of Special Education, University of Texas at Austin
"Who would expect a book on phonics to be one you don’t want to put down? This is the book I’ve been waiting for--a straightforward, easy-to-follow, sensible guide to teaching phonics. I can imagine tutors and preservice and inservice teachers using this book both for its step-by-step instructional sequences and the accessible explanations of why they are done. I can imagine this so well, in fact, that I plan to use the book in my tutoring and preservice teacher education courses."--Connie Juel, PhD, School of Education, Stanford University
"Making Sense of Phonics chronicles the personal journey of a reading teacher learning her craft. All those who join Isabel Beck on this journey will benefit not only from her insight as a teacher, but also from her work as a leading researcher. Readers will learn powerful yet simple instructional strategies that are grounded in research. Few educators are as comfortable in both teacher and researcher roles as Dr. Beck. This book is a 'must' for teachers just starting out, as well as veteran teachers who are faced with struggling readers."--Marcy Stein, PhD, Education Program, University of Washington, Tacoma
"In a clear and conversational style, Isabel Beck has created a powerful text to support explicit and systematic phonics instruction. Making Sense of Phonics outlines procedures for such essential beginning reading activities as teaching letter-sound correspondences, blending, and word building. Inservice and preservice teachers will appreciate the book’s focus on classroom practice, and how the author applies every concept to real students. Teachers of English learners will find that the step-by-step teaching strategies provide an explicitness that helps students master important reading skills in their new language."--Lori Helman, PhD, University of Minnesota
"A timely, much-needed book for teachers. Isabel Beck helps sort through the issues related to phonics instruction and outlines a practical, explicit, systematic approach. Written as if you are having a conversation with the author, this straightforward book provides concise strategies for sequencing phonics instruction as well as anecdotes that further enlighten the reader. Readers are given many opportunities to reflect on their own students, analyze student responses, and determine an appropriate course of action. This makes for an excellent text for any reading methods course that emphasizes a balanced literacy approach. Based on research, this book provides needed tools for helping all students become independent, lifelong readers."--Donna Savage, EdS, Literacy Specialist, Newport News Public Schools, Virginia
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