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Montessori language studies teach the alphabet in a particular way that may seem strange to you if you are used to the traditional alphabet. Rather than teaching the names of the letters, we teach the sounds that the letters make — the phonetic alphabet. You can read more about the initial presentation of letter sounds here: Montessori Sandpaper Letters.
L has been super interested in letters in the past few months, and she has clearly entered a sensitive period for writing and pre-reading. The girl can barely hold a conversation without stopping to sound out the beginning sound of a word! I was flipping through my language binder for inspiration when I saw a word labeling work. L isn’t quite at that level yet, but I knew she could definitely label objects with the first letter (beginning sound) of their names. Stickers make everything way more fun, so I wrote out all the letters L already knows on some return address labels, cut them in half, and laid them out on a work rug.
I asked L which letter she wanted to start with, and she chose the strip of stickers on the far right. I picked it up and said, “/t/. Hmm, I’m looking for something that starts with /t/.” I walked over to the table, said, “/t/. Table,” and put the /t/ sticker on the table.
We continued in this way through the living room. /c/ is for couch.
The babydolls got labeled… — /a/ is for Ariel.
Even the dog got his own label! /j/ is for Jeffrey!
N got a /g/ label because she’s a girl…
L gave herself a /l/ label…
And I got a /m/ label because I’m Mommy!
[There’s even an /i/ label inside that /m/ measuring tape to label an inch!]
L had so much fun with this activity! We stayed in the living room the first time we did this, and then when we were eating dinner she started talking about labeling everything in there — so next time we’ll try another room in our house.