As we return to school after a long break, the children are bursting with energy and the need for new challenges. Appearing on the shelves in the Language area are pink boxes full of interesting items. These are the beginning sound boxes. The purpose of these boxes is to identify a letter and what sound that letter makes, then match the objects in the box to its beginning sound.
A boy in the class chose the box with the sounds s/m/t/d/a in it. He spread out an orange piece of felt with 5 columns on it. At the top of each column is a letter. He picked up a snail and whispers “snail, sss, s, snail”. He placed the snail in the column with a ‘s’ at the top of it.
His next item was an alligator. He crawled over to a teacher working with a friend nearby and put his hand on her shoulder. She looked at him and he says “Crocodile?” She shook her head and responded, “No, alligator”. He returned to his work and found the ‘a’ for alligator. Next was a tire. He examined it and rolled it on the floor, then muttered “wheel, wa, wa-eel”. He quickly realized there is no ‘w’. “Tire. What does tire….t, t, tire?” he asks. Then he found the ‘t’ and rolled the tire up the column with relish.
“Give the pupils something to do, not something to learn; and the doing is of such a nature as to demand thinking; learning naturally results.”