Workbook for Basic Phonics: Words & Reading for Pre-K–1 to Complement Other Educational Programs

Melvine Groves; edited by Theodore Langley, Ph.D.

Publisher: Xlibris Pages: 52 Price: (paperback) $24.99 ISBN: 9781514480793 Reviewed: October, 2017 Author Website: Visit »

Melvine Groves’ Workbook for Basic Phonics is a supplemental resource for teaching colors and beginning phonics to kindergarten and first-grade students.

Groves introduces color and number names through simple dots and squares for students to count and color. She includes fun activities like a color matching game, word search puzzle for number names, and sheet music for the alphabet song to help teachers introduce letters. Throughout, all color names are printed in the actual color to help students with mastery. The workbook concludes with specific vowel-focused sentences for reading practice.

Groves’ workbook is edited by Theodore Langley, who holds a Ph.D. in psychology, which lends credibility to the scope and sequence chosen. However, there’s no explanation of the logic or educational theories used to develop this resource. With the plethora of excellent phonics curricula on the market, insight into how Groves’ book stands out from the rest would have been helpful.

While engaging, the book has several flaws. Groves states that the lessons can be “taught by a student-helping-student partnership.” Yet, the reading level required for the instructions is beyond kindergarten or first-grade ability, and the workbook would need a much older student to proctor.

Additionally, although Groves makes it clear that this workbook is intended to complement other educational programs, it may be deemed an unnecessary purchase when compared to the more, robust, thorough options on the market—and Groves’ lessons advance too quickly, without ample practice pages, for the workbook to stand alone. For example, digraphs are introduced just two lessons after the capital/lowercase matching activity for learning the alphabet.

Finally, the table of contents would serve better with broad headings that group like lessons together for quick reference.

Groves’ workbook could be a helpful addition to any phonics instruction, but without explanations of the effectiveness of her methods and the other issues mentioned, consumers may struggle to choose Groves’ workbook over less expensive and proven offerings.

Also available in hardcover and ebook.

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