Teachers in need of new ideas will find this compact book a big help in early childhood phonics. Clear, concise, and most of all practical, it offers a collection of word study activities for the progressive classroom using the omnipresent tool of magnetic letters. Adding just enough theory to make her point, Michele Dufresne shows how this simple tool can support the teaching of letters and sounds throughout the day within a balanced literacy program.

Each activity is geared to helping children figure out and understand words on their own. By making word analogies, they can draw on what they already know about letters, sounds, words, and spelling to access print in context. Throughout the text, educators will find distinct rationales for teaching children about letters and words and specific steps to help them assess students' needs and plan for teaching.

Sample lessons, lists of ideas, dialogue snippets, and classroom photos will help busy teachers get started with implementing phonemic and phonological instruction in their own classrooms. Then they can discover how much children enjoy exploring letters and words.