A child's long educational journey often begins with a simple tune — "A-B-C-D-E-F-G . . . Now I know my ABC's. What do you think of me?" Since English is an alphabetic language, it makes sense to start children at a young age learning this series of squiggles and lines that, when combined, create something spectacular — printed words. Teaching the most common sound-spelling correspondences helps children understand the alphabetic principle. For some children, this is a tremendous "aha." Reading becomes like a puzzle in which they map a sound onto a letter or letter cluster, and blend the sounds together to read words. For other children, the process requires more practice and time. These children need additional opportunities to hear the sounds, play with sounds and letters, write letters and words, and practice reading simple words using the sound-spellings learned. As children progress through the grades, the teaching of sound-spellings will become even more complex as they encounter longer and more difficult words. Yet, the teaching never stops — from the ABCs to learning the six syllable types in the intermediate grades, it's all important.
This site is designed to help you along this important educational journey. Classroom resources, research documents, model lessons, and games are included. Watch and listen as my colleagues and I demonstrate and discuss key aspects of phonics instruction, including how to best teach your students the skills they will need to achieve reading success. As you teach your students phonics, remember to share your excitement and interest in our sometimes complex, yet always fascinating, written language. Introducing your students to the joys of reading is one of the most important things you can do!
Wiley Blevins has taught elementary school both in the United States and South America. He completed his undergraduate work in Elementary Education at Bowling Green State University and his graduate work in Education at Harvard University. Currently Editorial Specialist for Early Reading at Scholastic, Inc., Blevins is the author of several books on phonics instruction, including Phonemic Awareness Activities for Early Reading Success, Quick-and-Easy Learning Games: Phonics, and Phonics from A to Z: A Practical Guide.