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Friday, February 28, 2014

Elkonin Boxes!

Stretching out sounds, tapping out words, sounding out words, whatever you call it, it is an important skill for beginning readers. Being able to segment words into sounds helps young readers identify new words in isolation and in text. One of my favorite activities to practice segmenting words is an old classic - elkonin boxes. Sometimes the old ways are the best!

To make these elkonin boxes, I printed the template onto a transparency. (Does anyone remember those?!) Then, I attached the transparency to dry erase boards. My dry erase boards are magnetic, so it worked out perfectly. I put one large magnetic on the board. I found these magnets, which are the perfect size for kindergarten hands!

Since we use Fundations, I use a large list of the Fundations words for tapping. I give students a few words a day. We practice moving the magnetic through the elkonin boxes as we isolate each individual phoneme. For my struggling readers, the visual and kinesthetic aspect of the magnets on the elkonin boxes really appeals to their learning styles.

If you would like a copy of the elkonin boxes template, click here.

How do you help your students segment words into phonemes?
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday


  1. You have magnetic dry erase boards?! Whoa! I need those! I love how hands on you make your lessons- your students always get so much practice.


  2. I use Elkonin boxes as well. The other thing that seems to work well for short words is having them use one hand to touch their opposite arm--tap the shoulder, tap the elbow, tap the wrist, then go back to the top and slide down to put all the sounds together.

    Not very fancy

  3. Elkonian boxes are definitely a visual help. I like how you made yours. We are always using our boards. I've made them out of felt squares (I think those are as long gone as transparencies :). I also like to use 3 shallow cups/bowls for the boxes so they can see the counter going in. Thanks for sharing.


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