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The Transition between Sandpaper and large movable alphabets in Montessori Early Language program

Children in 3-6 classroom matching the large movable alphabets to the sandpaper letters

Have you ever heard that children in a Montessori classroom can write words before they can read them! Yes, that's true writing comes spontaneously and naturally before reading.

The Montessori curriculum follows a phonetic literacy program. We start first with the letters sounds, in order to develop understanding and not just memorization of the letter names.

The movable alphabets material is used as the first mean of written communication for children, and it appeals to them that they find intense interest in using it.

“...thus began between me and them a communication by means of written language,a thing which interested the children intensely” Maria Montessori

Ideally, I like to have children tracing sounds first on the sand tray before moving to the movable alphabets.

This presentation comes after the child has worked intensively with sandpaper letters. It has a lot of aims:

1- It develops reading and writing hand in hand, because the child needs to read the sound in order to find it. Then, later on when they build words (write) using the movable alphabets they are developing both reading and writing as well.

2- Visual recognition of letters that still includes tactile sense. Specially with sounds that a lot of children struggle with such /d/ , /b/ , and /q/

3- It develops self-esteem as this work is considered as a "Big Work" at this stage, specially if they are able to match all the movable alphabets to their matching sandpaper letters sounds.

The below video is part of our Montessori Phonics and Word study e-course available on our website, which comes with a step by step curriculum manual if you're homeschooling your child or don't have any prior Montessori knowledge so you can easily introduce the lesson.

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