But that is not the reason for this post, though I do have a fun spring freebie for you!
Using Elkonin boxes helps students to blend and segment sounds. Once the students learn enough letter sounds to blend words, we start with the sound boxes to Push the Sounds.
You can use simple counters with the sound boxes, but I use either flat marbles or cute erasers to make it more interesting. I call out a word, and the students "push" the sounds as they hear them to segment the phonemes in the word. Then we read the word together, focusing on that left to right progression. Here is a picture of what that looks like. I gave the student the word "hop", and she pushed each phoneme to make the word, saying /h/ /o/ /p/ as she pushed each star up.
Then I work on changing different parts of the words with various word families in three letter words. Here is an example.
|I gave the word "fat"|
|Then I said "fit".|
|Then I called out "pit".|
|Then we finished with "pin".|
This is a strategy that is not just for the struggling reader, but for every beginning reader. As students work in the long vowels with silent e, they are great to show what the word is without the e and with the e. The four boxes are great for those beginning and ending blends to for students to hear those sounds. Many times those n and m ending blends are hard to hear. "Pushing the sounds" helps them to actually focus on the sounds of the words and place them in the words.
Click on the picture below to grab your own free copy of some spring sound boxes!
How do you help students who are beginning to read with hearing and spelling phonemes?