If you teach students to read, then you know how important building a base of phonemic awareness is. When students are aware of the sounds they are hearing, it helps them encode as they write or spell and decode as they read. Elkonin boxes can be a helpful part of that teaching process. Named after their creator, psychologist D.B. Elkonin, the boxes are a teaching tool that helps students break down words into their component sounds.
How do Elkonin boxes work? It’s easy. Each time a student hears a new sound, they drag a colored circle into a new box. For example, the word “see” would have two circles. The first circle for the sound “s” and the second one for the sound “ee.” Diagraph or combined letter sounds count as one phoneme. For example, for the word “sheep” there would be three circles for the sounds or phonemes /sh/ /ee/ /p/.
You can easily modify the online Elkonin boxes to fit your lessons by changing the color of the circles and the number of the boxes. Select the color from the drop-down menu by clicking on the blue circle. Tap on the number “2” to select the number of boxes. Clear the Elkonin boxes by pressing the restart symbol.