This term I introduced my preppies to Elkonin boxes for blending and segmenting! The students all have their own CVC box and set of pom poms and we sit on the carpet together. I sit on my teaching chair and call out a CVC word eg – cat. The kids say the word, segment the sounds and place a pompom up on the boxes as they say each sound. I give them 5 or 6 words just to check that they all know how to blend and also count the sounds (even though it is always 3 sounds).
Next, I say a word and have the students place their pompom where they hear a particular sound. For example, I might say dog and ask them to locate the /g/ sound. The students place their pom pom on the last box (hopefully). This is a great way for me to assess what stage the kiddies are up to very quickly. Most of my kiddies are able to blend the sounds together successfully but a few are mixing up vowel sounds.
At the moment, I am only using CVC words as they are easy to segment and blend but I might start using some trickier words with my higher kids to push them further. Once my kiddies can blend and segment sounds orally, we will move to writing the sounds that we can hear – I personally can’t wait to have my kiddies at this stage because their writing will also improve dramatically!
For more info about using Elkonin Boxes, check out this PDF by Reading Rockets.
Do you use Elkonin boxes in your classroom? If so, I would love to know how you use them!