Jolly Dictionary w/ Print Letters
True to its name, the Jolly Dictionary tries to be both fun and useful for children. Jolly phonics characters (Inky and friends) adorn the cover, playfully perusing a Jolly Dictionary. Vivid colors mark open page edges to divide the dictionary into quarters, giving children a starting point in their search. Inside, each page has the entire alphabet (color-coded to correspond to sections) across the top to remind them about alphabetical order when searching for a word. So, once children turn to a colored section, they can look at the guide letters and then check above for whether to look before or after that page. A helpful "All About the Dictionary" section is a mini-course in dictionary usage as well as containing specifics on Jolly Dictionary conventions. Included here are pages on dictionary usage, identification of parts of entries, definitions and color-coding for parts of speech, plus a guide showing the spelling and sound of pronunciation symbols. Thematic picture pages at the front of the dictionary provide immediate access to words and spelling for numbers (including ordinals), colors, shapes, months, days of week, seasons, continents and oceans, insects, fruits and vegetables, selected zoo animals, and parts of the body.
These are followed by over 6,000 entries written at a child's reading and interest level. Many are accompanied by a colorful illustration but not to the extent of a picture dictionary. Word pronunciations are written in italics with stressed syllables bolded rather than scored. Unique to this dictionary are the color-coded identification of the word function (Adjective, Noun, Adverb, Preposition, etc.) and the special marking of tricky or irregular verb forms, plurals, and comparative/superlatives. While also a nice complement to the Jolly Phonics program, this "jolly" dictionary stands well on its own. 340 pgs.
The award-winning Jolly Dictionary (paperback edition in print letters) complements the Jolly Grammar books and is designed to teach children how to look up and understand words they don’t know. Teaching children how to use a dictionary will improve reading and writing, and help them become independent learners. The dictionary has been color coded into four sections, (matching the Jolly Phonics Alphabet poster) so that children are able to find the words they are looking quickly. A unique Pronunciation Guide is given for each of the 6,000+ age-appropriate words. The definitions have been carefully written so that children find them easy to read and understand. The Jolly Dictionary is also beautifully illustrated throughout and features Inky, Bee and Snake.
Kids will have a jolly good time learning to read with this well-constructed program which originated in Great Britain. With the help of winsome Inky Mouse and her friends, Snake (a truly lovable snake if there ever was one) and Bee, five skills are taught in tandem throughout the program and at three age levels. Each level reviews and expands upon the previous content. A true spiral program.
Stories Board Book plus Activities Books (ages 3+)
Finger Phonics plus Workbooks and Level 0 Readers (ages 4+)
Student Books plus Decodable Readers (ages 5+)
These each cover the same seven groupings of 42 letter sounds (non-alphabetical). These groupings and progression allow immediate decoding of many words. Accompanying skills are: learning letter sounds, learning letter formation (handwriting), blending, identifying the sounds in words, and learning tricky (irregular) words.
The lesson material is straight-forward, but fun. Stories of the three friends provide the context for all the instructional information. Children learn via visual, auditory, and tactile-kinesthetic modes (for instance, sky writing and finger-tracing of letters). Letter sounds are introduced along with a set of movements that serve as mnemonic devices. All program components are high quality, well-designed, and easy to use; most are brightly colored. The black and white Phonics Handbook, however, provides the same exact content as the colorful Student Books and Teacher Book. All student content in the Handbook is reproducible, and the book can be used by itself or alongside any of the other, more colorful components. You do not need to have the Handbook in order to use the Student and Teacher Books.
Letter introduction in this series is a bit unusual and in the following order:
#1: s, a, t, i, p, n
#2: c/k, e, h, r, m, d
#3: g, o, u, l, f, b
#4: ai, j, oa, ie, ee, or
#5: z, w, ng, v, oo (two sounds)
#6: y, x, ch, sh, th (two sounds)
#7: qu, ou, oi, ue, er, ar
All materials follow this order and most have components that are numbered accordingly (i.e. Finger Phonics Books 1-7). Initially only one way of representing each sound is presented. Afterwards, the main alternatives are covered. For example, at first the long a sound is taught with the /ai/ spelling as in rain. Later the alternatives /ay/ as in day, and /a_e/ as in came are taught.
The spiral nature of the components provides interesting options. You can begin at any of the age levels. Instruction builds within a level but each level also reviews all previously taught concepts so you won’t miss any content. There is overlap in terms of appeal between the levels for certain components (i.e. Songs) meaning some of the media items can be used for the PK level as well as K. In general, the components for each level are as follows:
Ages 3+ (PK): Stories Board Book and Activities Book. Also enjoyed: DVD, Songs Book/CD, Letter Sound Poster
Ages 4+ (K4): Finger Phonics Books 1-7, Workbooks 1-7, and Decodable Readers Level 0. Also enjoyed: DVD, Songs Book/CD, Letter Sounds Poster, Word Book
Ages 5+ (K): Student Books 1-3, Teacher Book, Decodable Readers Levels 1-2. Also enjoyed: Word Book, Dictionary, Blend Wheels.
Ages 6+ (1): Decodable Readers Levels 3-4 (plus Jolly Grammar Level 1).
Rainbow Resource has packages geared to these levels.
There are several apps for smartphones and tablets available at the respective app stores. Some are free and some require a small fee. Jolly Phonics Letter Sounds, Jolly Phonics Lessons, Jolly Songs, and an app for teachers.
In summary, Jolly Phonics is an excellent program whether beginning with a PK or K student. In a relatively short time, they will be reading and writing. It goes much deeper than most beginning phonics programs, though stops a little short of a complete K-2 program. Follow up with Jolly Grammar for a solid grammar and spelling program that expands upon the phonics program and provides excellent language arts instruction.
Programs in this section go beyond teaching children how to read, incorporating phonetic readers, spelling and writing as well. Arranged roughly by grade/age.