Saturday, February 6, 2010

It seems that everyone in the Montessori blog world is talking alphabet . . .

I recently made a change to how I had been doing the letters. I had originally been using the ideas/order that is presented at My Montessori Journey. The problem was that I was ALSO introducing a letter of the week (starting with "a" at the beginning of the year), and it was generally different than the ones we were working on with the Red/Yellow/Blue scheme. It was just getting too confusing.

So I've made a decision - we are going to drop the Red/Yellow/Blue scheme. I understand that presenting the letters to the children in the order that they are in the alphabet probably really isn't the best way to introduce them. But it is the way that is working best for these children this year.

I am, however, using similar resources found at My Montessori Journey (particularly from KidSoup) combined with ideas that were contained in the language album from the Montessori Online Training Course that I am taking - particularly the idea of Sound Boxes, although I keep all the items for the Sound Boxes on my newly named Letter Shelf. (What DID we do all day is taking the course too, so that is why some of our resources look similar.)

Here is my new Letter Shelf:

The top of the Letter Shelf -
number of the month, shape of the month
and letter of the week.

Picture of the whole Letter Shelf

Cards that go with our Alphabet Song.
(on the first shelf) See next photo for more explanation.

We sing our Alphabet Song (not the traditional one. The tune is "Twinkle Twinkle" and it starts with the letter sound, then letter name, and then the object presented. So for A, it is a (as in in appple), A (as in ate), Apple, buh, B, ball. kuh, C, cat, duh, D, dog. )

For the current letter of the week:

We learn the sign language sign for that letter and a sign language word that starts with that letter.

We do the letter of the week with the Leap Frog Fridge Magnets and sing along.

We review our letter of the week poster and letter of the week words from KidsSoup.

These sheets are on the Writing Shelf for the letter of the week.

Find the Letter learning page from KidsSoup

Write/Trace the letter from KidsSoup

Trace words that start with that letter from KidSoup

There is also a letter coloring sheet on the Art Shelf for the letter of the week.

Letter Coloring Sheet from KidsSoup
(3rd sheet on the right on the blue shelf)

There is also a sandpaper letter by the sand tray at the Sensory Table for the letter of the week and there is a cookie cutter out at the play-doh table for letter of the week. I got the letter and number cookie cutters from Michael's. It came in a big container with all the letters and numbers. LOVE IT.

For the rest of these activities, I have two letters out - the letter for current week, and the letter for the previous week. These are held in the Letter Shelf.

Alphabet flashcards that show the capital and lowercase letters together (on the 2nd shelf. The Flashcards came from the dollar section at Target last fall.)

(On the 2nd shelf - these objects are in a plastic card file box)

Letter Cards from KidsSoup
(bottom shelf - in right blue container)

Inside of Little Letter Book

Outside of Little Letter Books - Little Letter books from KidsSoup
(on bottom shelf - left blue container)

The pictures in the Letter Cards are the same pictures that appear in the Little Letter Books.


So far, LOVING the new system. The children are really learning the letter sounds and they enjoy doing many of the activities.


My Boys' Teacher said...

Looks great! I was tempted to buy Karen's language set, but you have to COLOR everything. It took forever to make all those without coloring.

It sounds like you are already doing something a little different, but I am used My Montessori Journey's word drawer files to make all of my pink series materials beyond the sound bins. So...Kal-El's first word lists and single word books etc.., are all from the ramfbitg (red) group. The next couple sets are from her "yellow" group.

Just in case that helps you out...

AndieF said...

That's the beauty of the KidsSoup stuff for me - I can print out the books, picture cards, letter posters, letter words in color (you can also print them in black and white if you want them that way). I was VERY glad to not have to color everything. I just print everything out the weekend before and laminate anything that needs to be done.

I was using the Red/Yellow/Blue group along with a letter of the week before (but with just a couple letter activities) and it was too confusing for the children. I'm doing the traditional pink word lists (and eventually blue and green) for the students that are ready for work beyond the sound bins. (Although the letter/sound bin work is out for all the preschoolers too.) But I really like the red/yellow/blue system. Just wasn't working for us this year.