In the Montessori classroom phonetic learning takes place. This begins with the sandpaper letters. These enable the child to explore the sound of language and the shape of the symbol of the sound. As children learn the letter sounds, various exercises follow to reinforce the concept which leads to reading.
The sound table or shelf, teaches the child letter sounds using the sandpaper letters. A little sound book is provided for each child that is at this level in the program. As you go through the booklet, children say the sound of the letter. When two of these are not recognized, those two sounds would be presented as a lesson.
1. Show the child the sandpaper letter, they trace it and you would tell them, ‘This is the letter c. C says ‘c’.
2. These are objects that start with ‘c’.
3. These are pictures that start with ‘c’.
4. Make the letter c in the coffee tray, and ask the child to trace over the ‘c’.
5. Allow the child to make a ‘c’ into the coffee.
Repeat with the other letter. A three-period lesson would follow using those two letter sounds.
Provide a basket of ‘sound tubes’ (found at hardware stores). As children turn the pages of their sound booklet, they can say each sound into the tube and hear the sound they say with their ears, like a phone.
Children can begin to work with initial sound boxes as they learn each group of letters as seen on the boxes. Sound table booklets are arranged in this order as well, not alphabetically.
I include Blends around this time as well. I will post a picture soon. Blends like ST, CL, and BR matching with pictures.
Matching Objects to Letters
Matching Pictures to Letters
Matching Letters – Soon children will begin to work with the phonetic reading boxes. Allow them to match moveable letters to the sandpaper letters. This helps them to become familiar with the movable alphabet.