Each month, I make a Sound Box "journal" for my students. I usually use the spelling patterns that we are using in class (but not necessarily the same words). There are always some students who memorize spelling words, and this is my way of helping them to really learn the phonetic patterns and develop their phonological awareness.
At the beginning of the year, most words only use 3 boxes but I have four available so they still have to count the phonemes and determine the number of sounds in the words themselves. They simply cross out the last box. After they sound out the word and write the letters in the boxes, they write a sentence using that word. They are expected to use the rules of writing that we have learned up to that point (at the beginning that is just capitals, periods, spaces). Then I pass out colored pencils and we make sure the words in the sound boxes are spelled correctly. That way I have a whole packet of information to use when report cards come out. I can look back and see how well they sounded out the words and I can use their sentences as an assessment too. Also, if I see a group of kids (or even just one) that are struggling with sound boxes, I know that I need to work more with them.
If you are interested in using sounds boxes, you can click on one of the pictures to download your freebie.
I'd love to hear from you all. Do you use sound boxes? Do you have any tips/ideas for me?
Click on the picture to download.