Contact Us

* required field


“Sound boxes in my brain!”

A quick story about a conference I had with a young student in the early stage of reading. In just a few minutes of 1:1 conferring, she made a vital connection between word study activities and word solving while reading. It was joyous to watch! At one point she exclaimed, “Well! I have sound boxes in my brain!”

Child Connects Word Study to Word Solving

When I leaned in to confer, I asked her to read aloud to me. She came to the word “cut” and didn’t seem to be able to help herself. I reminded her of the sound box activity her teacher leads during word study. Her eyes popped open with recognition. I asked, “Can you use a sound boxes to help you?”

Then I drew a sound box on a dry erase board and, as she segmented and blended the word in the text, I tapped on each box as a visual reminder. (See photo below). After discussing what she’d done, we discussed the meaning of that sentence in the story.

Shares Her Story with Peers

At the end of the lesson, I asked her to share. She immediately exclaimed to her peers, “Well, I have sound boxes in my brain!” and then explained further. Then as a small group, we read the sentence together, segmenting and blending the word cut along the way and then talking about what was happening in the story. I closed by summarizing what we’d done together.

Coaching for Connections

This was a level D text. Really this child should ALREADY have been doing the work on CVC words like cut. Totally okay. This is why we have those 1:1 conferences – to make sure (and coach as needed) that students are transferring word study learning to word solving while reading text. This child’s quick recognition of the connection revealed that she’s ready to do this work!

BTW I’ve decided the focus of my blog this year is going to be “quick stories” (300ish words).

As always…hope this helps.


Share This Content




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *