Use of letters in words in Montessori
The teacher wants to give the child an idea of how the letters are used in words .She places a letter in front of the child , e.g “t’ and says.”LIsten .can you hear ‘t’ When I say table ,When I say a table ,when i say tom,when i say a cat ,or in kitten ?”She suggests a number of words Containing the sound of ”t” She is careful to put the sound in different places in eords ,not always at the beginning.
The teacher takes the other letter ”a” She asks the child to listen for the sound ”a” in the words she says .She uses words like apple ,ant,man,fan,and snake .
The teacher takes the other third letter ”s” She asks the child to listen for the sound ”s” in the words she says .She uses words like sun,snake,hiss,strong,salt.
She finishes the lesson by letting the child know that she ,too,can think of words containing the sounds she has learned ,She says,”If you think of any words with ‘t’ or ‘a’ or ‘s’ in them ,come and tell me .
Sometimes the child has learned the names of the letters before coming to school.In this case ,the teacher must explain to him that each letter has a name and a sound .Because he knows the names,she will only have to teach him the sounds.At no times in the lessons does she use both.
The phonetic sound of a letter is the sound most commonly used in words .When letters do not have the phonetic value ,they are usually following a rule in spelling or may be irregular
In the following words,the letters have their phonetic value.
(”q” is always followed by ”u” ,together they give one sound ) run,sun,top,up,van,win,box(no word begins with the phonetic sound of ”x”),yes and zip .
The phonetic sound of the vowels is the ”short” sound .
”a” as in ”at”
”e” as in ”met”
”i” as in ”pot”
”u” as in ”cut”
After learning the sound of a letter ,children often enjoy beginning writing activities such a feeling a sandpaper letter and then tracing it in sand .This Pre-writing Activity helps the children to practice the shapes of the letters which they are learning .Initially tracing with just the index finger ,the children progress to using a pencil to from the letters.
The eye-hand coordination and skill in holding a pencil gained from working with the insets for design (will be discussed later)transfer well into writing skills.