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Making Sense of Phonics: The Hows and Whys 2nd ed


SKU: 9781462511990 Categories: ,

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; the companion website features a wealth of supplemental teaching resources.


Click here To View a sample Chapter


This Edition also includes:

  • 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.



  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

Appendix 1. Word Building Lists

Appendix 2. Specific Phonics Assessments

Appendix 3. Word and Syllable Matrices for Syllasearch

Appendix 4. The Word Pocket

Appendix 5. List of Online Materials


Suitable for:
K–3 classroom teachers, preservice teachers, staff developers, and teacher educators.

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