The Jolly Phonics Teacher Book accompanies all three of the Student Books and provides detailed lesson plans for each page of the Student Books as well as reduced copies of those pages. These books covers letter formation, listening for letter sounds in words, blending activities, and tricky words. The books build on each other, each introducing more tricky words as well as sound spellings and spelling patterns and even basic sentence structure. The material in the Student and Teacher Books is identical to the material in the black and white Phonics Handbook except it is in full-color and non-reproducible. Student Books - 48 pgs, Teacher Book - 184 pgs.
The Jolly Phonics Teacher’s Book is an essential guide to using Student Books 1, 2 and 3 in the classroom. It is a comprehensive resource, offering a set of structured lesson plans that give step-by-step guidance on all aspects of the lesson, including the student book activities. It also provides an in-depth introduction to Jolly Phonics and a summary of key points to help teachers get started.
This refreshed version of the book is the same as the previous edition in terms of core content, but is enhanced with:
- A fresh new look in terms of cover and page designs.
- Easier navigation in a variety of ways, including color-coding and contents.
- Clearer answer keys for each of the activities within the Student Books
- Enhanced transparency in the structure for the corresponding content in The Phonics Handbook.
- Alignment of content across the materials for consistency of teaching.
Jolly Phonics materials target different ages but the actual instructional content is ordered the same for each group utilizing the seven letter sound groupings. The spiral nature of the components provides interesting options. You can begin at any of the age levels. Instruction builds within a level, but the next level also reviews all concepts and expands so you won’t miss any content.
The core instruction for Kindergarten/First Grade is found in the Teacher & Student Books plus the reading practice from the Decodable Readers. The three Student Books each feature all 42 letter sounds and are used for reinforcement and further skill development. They cover letter formation, listening for letter sounds in words, blending activities, and tricky words. The books build on each other; each introducing more tricky words as well as sound spellings and spelling patterns and even basic sentence structure. They are designed to be used sequentially.
The Teacher Book provides a general overview of the program along with teaching instruction for each aspect of the program. There are also detailed lesson plans for each page of the three Student Books, as well as reduced copies of those student pages.
The Jolly Phonics Student/Teacher Books Kit provides the core phonics instruction of the program through the three Student Books and Teacher Book.
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 truly 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 provides an interesting low-cost option particularly for a class, however. It similar content to the colorful Student Books and Teacher Book minus the winsome mascot characters but the content in the Handbook is reproducible. The Handbook can be used by itself or alongside any of the other, more colorful components. Note: 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. Later, the main alternatives spellings 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 3-5 (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 just 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.