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?