The language area in the Montessori classroom has many materials to support children in their development of writing and reading skills. Farmview teaches the children language with the Montessori method.
Montessori’s philosophy is different from traditional education in the way language is taught. Maria Montessori observed that children learn writing and composition before reading.
Children are taught writing skills first. This begins with helping children gain finger strength and developing a strong pencil grip. Once this strength is in place,children begin tracing their name and words. This will eventually lead to writing their name and words on their own. A strong sense of self develops when children can see that they can put their name on paper. When a child can write, then copying words in encouraged. The next step is to refine the skills of writing by working more specifically the formation of letters, lower case and writing on lines.
In teaching reading, the first important step is for children to be able to hear sounds out loud and discriminate them. A game of “I Spy” is played asking children to identify initial sounds of objects. If a child can “hear” the sounds he/she is then ready to move on to the letter of that sound and its name to make that association.
Sandpaper letters are used in the teaching of writing skills as well as letter sounds. The process of reading begins with the sandpaper letters. Children learn the initial sounds of the letters and match objects and pictures to that letter sound. When a child is solid in initial letter sounds, they then move on to ending sounds and then middle or vowel sounds. Having all this in place, the child is ready to use the moveable alphabet. This is a box containing many letters of the alphabet. Children begin composing words by “sounding” them out. They then move to composing sentences. They are now writing and composing. Spelling does not come into place at this point. We just want children to be able to decode words. Spelling comes later as children learn to read more fluently.
If a child can compose a word he/she is able to read it. Now the child is reading to move on to reading simple books. As reading becomes more refined rules of the English language are introduced.
Children are then well on the way to be great readers!