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Letter Lessons and First Words

Phonics Foundations That Work

Research-based strategies for lively, engaging phonics instruction with young children.

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If you’re not sure how phonics fits within your daily instruction, or crave a more effective process for teaching phonics, Heidi Anne Mesmer is here to help. In Letter Lessons and First Words, Heidi Anne provides a research-based vision of what lively, engaging phonics instruction can look like, along with practical, classroom-tested  tools to make it happen in your classroom.

Heidi Anne  provides a one-stop shop  for phonics instruction, including a clear scope and sequence of what to teach, a quick assessment to differentiate instruction, a simple lesson framework, and three activity-filled units matching key developmental milestones.

More than twenty classroom videos bring the content to life, showing children working with letters, words, and books at various stages of learning.  Additional resources include:

  • A “know the code” chapter explaining English spelling (and online glossary)

  • Answers to common questions

  • Guidance about choosing books for readers at different stages

  • new info about how children cognitively store words and why inductive tension is important.

Isn’t it time to re-imagine how you teach phonics? Letter Lessons and First Words will show you the way toward joyful instruction for today’s classrooms.

Additional Resource Information

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Intro: Reimagining Phonics Instruction

Ch. 1: Know the Code: Teacher’s Reference on How English Works
Ch. 2: Assessment That Shows You What to Teach
Ch. 3: Phonics Lessons for Real Literacy
Ch. 4: UNIT: Letter Lessons for Kindergartners and Prekindergartners
Ch. 5: UNIT: First Words: Decoding
Ch. 6: Beyond First Words: Learning Long Vowels and Other Patterns