Montessori Phonics - Introduction To Single Letter Sounds

Discussions on tuition centres/enrichment services that specialise in English.

Are you interested to teach your child Phonics?

Yes, definitely!
Naaah, the children wud learn it in school eventually..
Dunno can or not? I'm not sure how to teach..
I've thought of it, but how.. I'm a FTWP, no time to spare!
Total votes : 73

Montessori Phonics - Introduction To Single Letter Sounds

Postby buds » Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:04 pm

Parents Involvement In Teaching A Child To Read

Until fairly recently, most teachers held firmly to the view that
teaching children to read was entirely their responsibility and
that parents need not interfere. This view is fast disappearing
and the majority of schools now actively encourage parents to
work with them.

The level of involvement expected from parents vary from school
to school. Many may send home reading books, usually with a
notebook or newsletter or even a card suggesting to parents what
kind of activity they can do for the evening. This may be hearing
a child read, or reading to them... reading the book aloud together
or having to discuss a few things in the book too after reading them.

They might also be asked to play some reading games or to go
through with the children a certain list of words, (etc).

Some schools issue booklets or hold meet-ups explaining their
approach to reading and the ways in which they would like the
parents to help. It is important that you feel clear about what
the school is doing & what they expect you to do. Most teachers,
though busy, will be quite happy to explain things to you.

If the school does not involve you, just continue reading to your
child and reading with your child, choosing books that you both
will enjoy.

If you insist on some involvement on your part, buds is here to
guide you. Hehee.. Here is the Montessori Phonics thread as
promised. For those who have PM-ed me for assistance, i hope
this assistance came in time for you to guide your kiddies in the
comfort of your home.

For parents preparing children for Primary 1 with schools still
using textbook styled teaching (instead of STELLAR), the children
will be doing revision on Phonetic sounds in their workbooks with
some practice on penmanship as well. So, for parents whose kids
are going on to P1 next year and not versed in Phonics, it is still
not too late to get them familiar now. :wink:

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A little history...

Postby buds » Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:10 pm

Just a little history first on Montessori... :wink:

The Montessori Method of education was founded by Dr Maria
Montessori who was born in 1870 in the town of Chiarvalle, Italy.


At some moments in her life and for reasons she herself found
difficult to explain, she changed her mind about engineering as
a career and decided to become a doctor. At medical school, she
had many male colleagues who were hostile to her presence but
yet through the intimidation ignited perseverance which eventually
made her become the first woman doctor in Italy, with top honours.

Most of her work in a hospital in Rome saw her tending to the poor,
and particularly with the children of the poor. She worked with
children from the slums and also normal children and was affected
by the simple happiness the children get from simply doing simple
activities the children engage in then. Even like with simple crayon
& paper. She brought in teaching materials she created, to work
with many types children & even special ones...

Dr Maria Montessori’s objective is to help children everywhere reach
their maximum learning potential, while becoming well-balanced
individuals able to cope with the emotional, social and practical
pressures of modern day living. Montessori approach provides
a range of experiences which will help stimulate a child’s love
for learning and discovery.

Through her research and the belief that all children has the
opportunity to learn, her discoveries of children behaviour
and learning to support their natural development; she found
that children had the power to educate themselves with guidance
from teachers she later terms as the Directress.

With the right approach, children learn willingly so the Montessori
Directress is gentle, sympathetic and full of encouragement for the
child. She is viewed more as a friendly helper; there to give guidance
than as a teacher to be obeyed. Her role is to encourage positive
attitudes, to help create strong individuals and to provide the stimulus
and inspiration for the child to learn and progress. The Directress will
be on hand at all times to encourage, to answer questions and to
promote a harmonious environment in which to learn.

The essence of the Montessori approach is that every child is treated
with respect, given freedom within limits of a carefully structured
environment and allowed to develop naturally at his or her own pace.

The Montessori child pursues the same basic activities covered in other
classrooms and is taught in a way that does not pressure him into
learning, yet encourages maximum response. The Montessori
educational approach looks for more than retention of knowledge.
It also aims to generate security, trust and independence in the child...
preparing him/her to fit into any situations and to move on to Primary
and Secondary education with confidence.

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Postby buds » Tue Sep 29, 2009 3:07 pm

While there has been a never-ending debate to
the best way to teach reading & the best method
for teaching Phonics, i go by the belief to take the
positive aspects of any learning methodology and
try to apply to my children's learning style, to help
them achieve maximum learning potential. All
methodologies have their strengths.

In this thread however, I will share the Montessori
Phonics approach to introducing letter sounds and
many alternatives to making your own teaching
material or for parents who are busy, other
materials that can be bought off the shelves
as well.

All feedback welcome! :wink:

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Postby Starling » Tue Sep 29, 2009 3:22 pm

Hi Buds

Many thanks for taking the time & effort to share. Due to the many great ideas posted by you in other threads, I went to our local library to borrow books written by Maria Montessori herself. Currently I have just started reading, The Absorbent Mind.

Looking forward to your post.

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Let's share..

Postby buds » Tue Sep 29, 2009 3:27 pm

You're welcome, Starling.
I'm working on it as we
speak... :wink:

Hope to hear your thoughts
on the lessons shared. At any
time you're unsure, simply post
your question... With question &
reflection we all learn better.

Myself included. :wink:

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Postby mummy of 2 » Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:03 pm

Really hope to pick up some tips that I can use to help my kids' learning. Off-the-shelf procducts will be great for working and lazy mummy like me 8)

Looking forward to contributions from other parents too, on how to apply the methodology to suit their kids.

mummy of 2
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Postby buds » Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:25 pm

If I have time... :P ... I would like
to include the presentations/lessons
for Jolly and Letterland as well so tt
parents with children in schools with
other learning styles can also work
some fun practice with their kiddies
at home..

See lah how... Hehehee.. :wink:

Btw, which school your kiddies
attending (if any) right now?

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Montessori Phonics - Introduction To Single Letter Sounds

Postby buds » Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:26 pm

[Editor's note: Topic selected & edited for [url=""]Portal Publication[/url].]
*NOTE : In all these lessons, letters of the alphabet are not introduced.*


Introduction To Single Letter Sounds > Lesson 1

Introduction to the sound /c/


There are 3 periods to the tried and tested 3-Period
Lesson in Montessori presentations. The first period
is where we introduce everything in isolation. ie. one
material at a time. Montessori presentations are done
either on a work table or on the floor... and we use
work mats to define our work area/space.

I will show how to teach your child(ren) how to carry,
to roll and unroll a work mat another time.. :wink:
For now, here's the presentation order.

This letter makes the sound /c/.
Show child the sandpaper letter card.

Click here to hear the /c/ sound.

This is how I write/trace /c/.


Would you like to try?
Invite child to trace the sandpaper letter.

Tracing sandpaper letters provides
a sensorial experience for children.
It also helps them to practice the
lightness of touch since the sandpaper
letter is a little rough. Lightness of touch
helps children not to press their pencil
too hard (in future) when they are ready
for writing.

Trace the letter again and say to the
child... /c/ is for cat.


Would you like to touch the cat?
Pass the cat to the child. During
this time, you may engage the
child with discussions on cats.

For example, do you like cats?
What do cats eat?
How does a cat's fur feel like?
What sound does a cat make?
Can you move like a cat?

This discussion stage helps the
child remember the lesson better.

1.Child touched the model cat.

(Materials preferably should not be
cartoonish, as realistic to the real
thing as possible...)

2.Child talked about cats.

3.Child pretended to be a cat.
(Role play experience)

All these are learning experiences.
The more the child is engaged, the
better the retention of information

However, do bear in mind that the
discussion though encouraged, shud
not stray... distract... or prolong
beyond a few minutes... This depending
on the number of children involved in da

Carry on...

Trace the letter again and say to the
child... /c/ is for cap.


Similarly here, engage the child in mini

For example, do you have a cap?
Does it look like this one that i have here?
What design would you like on your cap?
When would you put on your cap?
Would you like to try this cap on?

Again, carry on with next object...
For 18mths to 3yrs old, since they have a
shorter attention span... try to give at least
three different objects beginning with the
letter sound taught for the day.

Why 3?

Cos, if you only have 2 objects... During the
next lesson, your child can just point anyhow
between 2 objects... it's like one or the other.

For older children, or children with longer
attention span... please, include more objects
for more vocabulary and also more sensorial
experiences. Not too many till it strays from
your lesson, but enough to engage & interest
your child(ren) to see through the entire lesson
happily. :wink:

Trace the letter again and say to the
child... /c/ is for crayon.


Again, engage the child in small talk..
Simple stuff like what colour, what can
they draw with crayon, (etc)

Now, that is the end of Period 1.

For Period 2 in the 3-Period Lesson, show
all the three objects you've introduced all
at the same time. In this period, you are
to observe how much of Period 1 has been
retained in your child's mind.. :wink:

In this period, the child is not required to say
out the names of the objects. He/She is simply
encouraged to point to them upon being prompted.

Can you show me the cap? Stress on the /c/
sound as you ask/prompt.


Can you show me where's the cat?


Can you show me where is the crayon?


That is the end of Period 2..

If child points to the correct object, good.
If not, it's ok. It just shows your child may not
be at full attention during the first period & that
the presentation should be repeated.. but not on
the same day/time... Preferably, allow some time
to do other stuff or play and get back to doing the
same presentation again..

You are the observer. Observe and make a mental
note of where and which part the child got it wrong.
It is not unusual in a Montessori lesson that we do
not correct a child immediately when a mistake has
been made during lesson, with the exception of - if
the child is going to hurt him or herself.. or in the
process of disrupting a fellow friend's concentration
away from his/her work.

We come back to the lesson again, thus providing the
child the opportunity to get it right the next round.

Try not to say, "WRONG!" immediately when you
observe the child pointing to a wrong object...

Follow through to finish that period and end it with
a simple, "We can do this another day..." :wink:

Now for Period 3.

In this period, the child is now tasked to show that
he/she can verbalize the words introduced and also
the letter sound that begins with the objects shown.

Show each object in isolation in Period 3.

1. Can you tell me what this is...?


Child : Crayon.
You : Good.

2. Can you tell me what this is...?


Child : Cat.
You : Good.

3. Can you tell me what this is...?


Child : Cap.
You : Good.

Today, we have learnt...
(Simultaneously showing the child the sandpaper letter)

... /c/ as in cat.... /c/ as in cap... and /c/ as in crayon.

Tomorrow/On another day, we'll learn more sounds.
I will place this material on this shelf, so you may
work with it when you feel like it. (Show child the plc)
Now, can you help me put the things away and put it
on that shelf... and next, can you help me roll the mat?
Thank you, i appreciate it.

Don't be surprised if you see your child picking up the
mat and the material and working with it on their own..
This is when we know that the child is learning through

If your child did not get any of the steps right at any
point of the 3-Period lesson, please do not despair...
Always come back to it again another time..

Let's recap on the 3-Period Lesson...

1st Period : Introduce letter sound & show objects in
isolation. ie. one at a time.

2nd Period : Display all the objects all at once and ask
child to show you, one at a time..

3rd Period : Ask the child to tell you the names of the
objects that you in isolation.. Then recap all the names
and the letter sound taught for the day.

"What goes through the hand, goes to the mind..."
[Dr Maria Montessori]

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Postby mummy of 2 » Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:59 pm

My son is attending PCF. Frankly not too sure which phonics system they are using. My son is familar with all the letter sounds (from watching Leapfrog DVD) and can correctly sound out the begining letter of words 90% of the time.

My concern is how to move forward from here. Was told during meet-the-teacher session in May that the school will only teach blending etc in K1. Is that too late? Am quite kan cheong becos i never learned phonics and am not sure how to teach him.

mummy of 2
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Postby apple79 » Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:18 pm

Wow thanks buds! That is really very comprehensive. I have got those small sandpaper letter board (wooden kind), I can use that right?

Mummy of 2, u can refer to the thread ... &start=285 to get idea on how you can do it...

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