Jolly Phonics Starter Set
K-1 (ages 5+) Exactly what you need to get your students well-grounded in phonics and reading. The Jolly Phonics Starter Set includes the Student/Teacher Books for phonics instruction and reinforcement plus the Levels 1 & 2 Decodable Readers. Also included in this kit are the Phonics Word Book, the Jolly Dictionary, and the Blend Wheels.
This package includes the following items:
Jolly Phonics materials target different ages but the actual instructional content is ordered the same for each group by 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.
To make it easy to get started, Rainbow Resource has packages for each age/grade level. These packages include the Jolly Phonics instructional materials most appropriate to that level. Please note there is overlap in some materials between the packages. The media-based items (DVD and/or Songs Book/CD) are not always included in the packages, but there is a Jolly Phonics Media Set so you can add these items to an older grade level package if desired.
- PK (ages 3+) The Jolly Phonics at Home package includes the Stories Board Book, Activity Books 1-7, Letter Sound Poster, DVD, Songs Book/CD, and pencils/eraser packaged into a sturdy, zippered water-repellent case with a soft, plush snake that serves as a handle.
- K4 (ages 4+) The Jolly Phonics K4 Package includes Finger Phonics Set, the Workbooks Set, and the Level 0 Decodable Readers Set, plus the DVD.
- K-1 (ages 5+) The Jolly Phonics Starter Set includes the Student/Teacher Books plus the Levels 1 & 2 Decodable Readers. Also included in this kit are the Phonics Word Book, the Jolly Dictionary, and the Blend Wheels. The Student/Teacher Books Kit provides just the core phonics instruction of the Student Books and Teacher Book.
- K4-1 (ages 4 through 7) The Jolly Phonics Extended Set provides all the materials from the K4 package and the Starter Set. Included: Finger Phonics Books 1-7, Workbooks 1-7, Student Books 1-3, Teacher Book, Decodable Readers Levels 0, 1, & 2, DVD, Word Book, Jolly Dictionary, and Blend Wheels.
- PK-1 (ages 3 through 7) The Jolly Phonics Comprehensive Set includes all the materials of the Extended Set plus the Stories Board Book, Activity Books 1-7, the Letter Sound Poster, the DVD, and the Songs Book/CD.
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.