He must commit to memory the shape of the letters and their corresponding sounds, and he must develop the muscular skill necessary for using the pencil with control.The Montessori approach offers the child the opportunity to learn the shapes and sounds of the letters in a way that is completely independent from her perfection of the motor skill.Repeat this exercise like you would in the Three Period Lesson until you are sure the child has got the hang of all three letters. For extra practice or extensions with the sandpaper letters you can use the letters with the Phonics Miniatures and the salt tray.
With Montessori, presentations are given with a 3 period lesson.
It doesn’t matter what the subject is and I was actually using this method when I was teaching ESL, before I had discovered Montessori, so I knew it worked.
Remember that the child needs to have strengthened his or her pincer muscles adequately to be able to hold a pencil correctly and for any length of time.
Check out the 50 Fine Motor Muscles Post for ideas to increase pincer muscle strength.
The Sandpaper Letters teach the child to associate the letters of the alphabet with specific sounds.
For example, when presenting the letter m, the teacher makes a humming sound rather than saying .
Some hardcore Montessorians will be poo-pooing me saying that but after teaching hundreds of kids, I can confidently say, it doesn’t really matter.
I recommend keeping a notebook handy though so you can make a note of which letters your child has mastered, which need more work and which have yet to be introduced.
To learn the sound and shape of the letters of the alphabet.
To gain muscle memory of the letter shape in preparation for writing If you don’t have sandpaper letters yet, check THIS POST for a DIY tutorial on how to make them.