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The ABC's and All Their Tricks: The Complete Reference Book of Phonics and Spelling Hardcover – 1 Dec 1986

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 342 pages
  • Publisher: Mott Media (MI) (Dec. 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0880621494
  • ISBN-13: 978-0880621496
  • Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 3 x 22.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,068,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
I have quite a few spelling and phonics books, but this one is full of new things I didn't know. The most thoroughly explained, comprehensive, yet still simple format of any book I have. Very impressed. So good I will be taking it to bed for bed-time reading! Good value for a long term reference book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Supper reference book for the spelling rules which can be a little confusing as an adult. I do not remember being taught the rules as a child and this is a great starting point.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars 39 reviews
104 of 105 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Homeschooler Review 14 Aug. 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is the only book you will ever need to teach spelling to your child. It is set up in such a way that you could easily teach different levels at the same time. Words that cover a specific spelling rule are divided into easy and more difficult word lists. Although it is meant as a reference, I use it as a source for spelling words and then add to it, any words that we are encountering in our reading material that follow the same rule we are learning or reviewing from the reference book. If you are familiar with the Spalding method but are turned off by the dry, uninspired approach, use this book as your word list as most of the words in Spalding are found on this list, and if not, they can be derived from words on this list. (I actually went through Spalding and the Wise Guide to see if this book would cover the words from those lists and it does. As I said, some words on the other lists are derivitives of words in this book. You simply take the root word and add prefixes, or suffixes to form a lot of other words. I find this book much easier to adapt to my other curriculum, as I can create my own lists and still cover the spellng rules.) The book does not insist on using the short i sound for y at the end of words like Spalding, and discusses in detail how stress changes the sound of vowels in certain words. The book is not phobic about using the terms long and short vowels, so you won't have to throw away any previous notions your child has about these to teach the vowel sounds as you do in Spalding. I can't rate this book highly enough.
66 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional...The Most Complete Phonics/Spelling Book Ever 18 Mar. 2002
By Cris Cunningham - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My only word of caution about this book is that it is intended for teachers. Don't let your child study independently from it (unless they are high-school age), or they may become confused. The reason is not because it is faulty in its presentation, but because it is so comprehensive that students may become frustrated with it.
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.
45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spelling Finally Makes Sense! 8 Dec. 1999
By Kathy Gilmore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is my most valuable homeschool reference tool. As a naturally poor speller, I have learned a great deal. This book has helped me explain why a word is spelled the way it is, and to build spelling rules that students can really rely on.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource (but not for everyone) 1 April 2008
By Loquatious - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For intermediate to advanced phonics, Bishop's text is a great resource, but it's not for every reading teacher. It should be particularly valuable for reading specialists, speech therapists, and anyone looking to develop curriculum material.

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.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Phonics Reference 3 Sept. 2005
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Research has proven time and again the efficacy of teaching phonics for reading. Children who learn to decode words are equipped to decode the meanings of sentences which the words form. Thus they have fewer reading comprehension problems than their whole language method peers. Unfortunately, phonics is usually not taught in it's entirety, progressively where one rule is built upon another, and spelling is not taught along the way--so that children learn to spell the words that adhere to the specific phonics rules as they are being taught.

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.
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