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Phonics is one of the five building blocks of reading identified by the National Reading Panel (NRP). (Click here to see the report.) Phonics instruction teaches children letter/sound relationships and the rules for reading and writing words correctly and automatically (e.g., The letter "C" can sound like the "S" in cent or the "K" in cake. Also, the letter "E" at the end of a one-syllable word makes the vowel long as in the words "home," "cane," and "mice"). Systematic instruction in phonics results in significant gains in spelling, decoding, and reading comprehension (National Reading Panel, 2000).
Here is a list of Super Duper® materials to teach phonics. Click here to see research articles that support targeting phonics in order to improve a child's ability to read.