The ABC's and All Their Tricks: The Complete Reference Book of Phonics and Spelling Hardcover – 1 Dec 1986
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Having said that upfront, I will also add that this is a magnificent phonics and spelling reference. The title uses the word "encyclopedia" and I believe that is the most appropriate description of its contents, and how to effectively use it with your child. The heart of the book is arranged alphabetically covering all the known rules for each letter and letter combinations. You will find introductory notes on each letter, an explanation of all the sounds that letter makes in the English language, and, if applicable, how that particular letter teams with others to make a new sound. You will also notice cross-references so you can easily find comparative sounds and notes. There is also a listing of words (beginning, intermediate and advanced) which work with each sound, exceptions,(if any), a total for the number of words in the English language that use that sound, and any spelling/phonetic rules which cover that sound. Like I said, this is an exhaustive reference tool that leaves no stone unturned.
Do yourself, and your student(s) a favor...BUY THIS BOOK! To do without it means hours of preparation and research on your end (not to mention potential learning gaps) that can be spent applying what is given to you here.
How have I used the text? It's helped me adapt and develop materials for a junior-high student who reads 3-4 grades below level because of dyslexia. He hates the skill-sheets that were so obviously developed for elementary students. Now I can adapt or create materials easily.
What does the text offer? It generally gives 20-40 examples for every spelling-sound pattern, and explains the situations that lead to the exceptions. Entries are cross-referenced to examples that follow similar patterns. Bishop points out differences you probably haven't thought of noticing before (for example, when the featured spelling-sound pattern is stressed or unstressed, voiced or not voiced. Each of these distinctions comes with a separate set of supporting examples.) Bishop offers clues that help readers know which pattern to follow when sounding out a word that "sounds" equally like two different spellings.
ABCs and All Their Tricks does an excellent job of summarizing the importance of phonics, how it should be taught, and why it's effective. It accurately and in easily understood explanation states one phonics rule and then lists most of the words that follow the rule. The listings are in order for easy reference and understanding. It addresses typical anti-phonics arguements--such as it doesn't work, spelling issues, and exceptions to rules (generally the exceptions are really different rules, and ABCs explains the reasons behind all of this). Perhaps most important in countering anti-phonics arguments, ABCs notes a study of the English language conducted in the early 1970s that evaluated over 19,000 words and determined how many of those words followed phonetic rules and how many were exceptions. Most of the exceptions have reasons why they don't follow said rule--usually a cognate from another language, and where possible, ABCs notes the cognate and offers explanation.
This book can be used as a reference guide for the reading/spelling/phonics teacher, for a person who learned to read phonetically, but has forgotten the specific rules, or as an independent, inexpensive phonics textbook.
Regardless of your attitude toward reading methods, I highly recommend that any reading teacher or homeschool parent read this book and keep it on the reference shelf. The explanations are interesting, enlightening, and sensible. They bring understanding to our language and it's nature, as well as the rules we follow just being able to read (whether phonics was the method used to teach reading or not)and communicate in English.