Well, the number in front is the electron configuration level, so 1s2 is the inner most ring, 2s2 and 2p6 make up the second ring etc. The letter is just the type of orbital, they have different energies and you really just have to remember the letters. The number after the letter (and superscript) is the number of electrons in this level.
You should commit to memory how to construct a table like the folowing:
This describes the order that the orbitals fill up (approximately). You basically just keep filling up the levels (following the arrows) until you run out electrons. Does that help, do you still haev questions?