Ultimate Advantage Phonics
These inexpensive workbooks provide solid, complete phonics skills practice for the early grades. The simple, well-formatted pages and two-toned graphics leave little room for distraction, and the exercises are straight-forward, progress through concepts logically, and are variable enough to keep students interested. Each workbook covers standards-based phonics concepts and offer worksheets that focus on specific skills followed by mixed review. Unit reviews consist of a short illustrated story, activity, and a "Take a Test Drive" test-prep worksheet. Test prep pages contain a short review of the concepts studied, presented in multiple-choice bubble format for exposure to standardized test format. As for the actual phonics lesson worksheets, the emphasis is on phonemic awareness (letter sounds), rather than visual letter representation. The worksheet activities are extremely varied, and range from matching letters, to writing letters, reading simple sentences, identifying words that begin with or contain a certain letter, choosing simple words to complete a sentence, and many more.
Although I can't list every skill covered in each book, I'll briefly summarize skills covered by grade. Kindergarten topics include readiness skills, phonemic awareness (rhyming words, beginning and ending sounds and syllables), upper/lower case letter sequencing and recognition, and sound/symbol correspondences. Grade 1 includes more advanced phonemic awareness exercises, upper/lower case recognition, specific phonetic instruction for all consonants and vowels divided into manageable chunks by unit, beginning digraphs and diphthongs, long vowel variations, a selection of consonants and vowels and several blends. Grade 2 contains more advanced blending and segmenting, short and long a, e, i, o, and u sounds, special vowel sounds, silent consonants, and structural analysis (prefixes, suffixes, and syllabification. By Grade 3, more advanced topics are covered such as decoding (segmenting and blending), short/long vowels, letter combinations, consonant blends and diagraphs, word endings, syllabification, structural analysis, and synonyms, antonyms, and homonyms. Removable quiz cards offer a review of concepts covered, using a game format that can be used by individual or multiple students. An answer key is included at the end of each book. - Jess