3rd Edition

Making Sense of Phonics, Third Edition The Hows and Whys

By Isabel L. Beck, Mark E. Beck Copyright 2024

    Now in a revised and updated third edition incorporating a decade of additional research and classroom experience, this book has helped over 100,000 primary-grade teachers understand and successfully apply the science of reading in phonics instruction. Isabel L. Beck and Mark E. Beck present innovative approaches to assessing and teaching letter–sound relationships, blending, Word Building, multisyllabic decoding, fluency, and more. A wealth of reproducible forms and word lists can be copied from the book or downloaded and printed; the companion website also features supplemental word lists, word and syllable cards, and 30 illustrated Syllasearch stories. Engaging teacher anecdotes and end-of-chapter "Your Turn" activities enhance the book's utility as a professional development resource and course text.

    New to This Edition
    *Chapter on the key role of phonics in today's literacy programs--with a focus on what is needed for high-quality instruction aligned with the science of reading.
    *Chapter on extending Word Building instruction to small groups and individual students.
    *Extensive revision of the Syllasearch activity for decoding multisyllabic words.
    *Expanded reproducible and downloadable tools, including enhanced Word Building lists, new Syllasearch lists (with teaching tips), and eight new Syllasearch stories.

    1. What Is the Forecast for Phonics Instruction in the United States?
    2. The Alphabetic Principle and Phonics
    3. Phonemic Awareness
    4. The Phonics Landscape
    5. Teaching Children the Sounds That Letters Represent
    6. Blending
    7. Word Building: Overview and Procedures
    8. Word Building: Grouping
    9. Assessment
    10. Multisyllabic Words
    11. Syllasearch
    12. Orthography: A “Sticking Point in Word Recognition”
    13. Fluency
    Appendix 1.Word Building Lists
    Appendix 2. Specific Phonics Assessments: Administration and Scoring Guidelines
    Appendix 3. The Word Pocket
    Appendix 4. Words and Syllable Matrices for Syllasearch
    Appendix 5. List of Online Teaching Resources


    Isabel L. Beck, PhD, is Professor Emerita of Education at the University of Pittsburgh. She has conducted extensive research and published widely on decoding, vocabulary, and comprehension. She is a recipient of the Oscar S. Causey Award from the Literacy Research Association, the William S. Gray Citation of Merit from the International Literacy Association, and the Contributing Researcher Award from the American Federation of Teachers. Dr. Beck was inducted into the Reading Hall of Fame and is an elected member of the National Academy of Education. She is coauthor of books including Bringing Words to Life, Second Edition; Creating Robust Vocabulary; Illuminating Comprehension and Close Reading; Making Sense of Phonics, Third Edition; and Robust Comprehension Instruction with Questioning the Author.

    Mark E. Beck, MEd, is a reading specialist at Manchester Academic Charter School in Pittsburgh, where he works with children in grades K−5. After practicing law for 14 years, Mr. Beck changed careers, obtaining his Pennsylvania elementary teaching certification and working as a classroom teacher. Subsequently he obtained his reading specialist certification. He has also been a part-time instructor in the Reading Department in the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh.

    "Making Sense of Phonics, Third Edition, is a 'must' for anyone who wants to navigate the science of reading with effective, engaging, efficient instruction. Beck and Beck analyze the state of phonics instruction in current core programs and provide classroom recommendations complete with online downloadable resources and easy-to-administer, focused assessments. I particularly appreciate the authors’ excellent treatment of phonemic awareness--it is a breath of fresh air and should be read carefully by teachers, administrators, and teacher educators alike!"--Kathleen J. Brown, PhD, Director Emeritus, University of Utah Reading Clinic

    "This is the ultimate phonics guide. Beck and Beck provide strategies, resources, and commentary to support educators with developing a comprehensive approach to teaching phonics. No need to struggle through the teacher's edition of a basal program any longer once you have this book! Readers of previous editions will be thrilled with new content in the third edition, including updates to Word Building (a fan favorite), a new and improved Syllasearch routine, and much more. Not to be missed!"--Lisa Yonek, EdD, Reading Coordinator, Reading Achievement Center, Allegheny Intermediate Unit, Pennsylvania-