Over the past few weeks we have shared a little bit about the different areas of the classroom and the kind of work kids do in each space. You have seen the kids at work in the sensorial, practical life, and math areas, and today we wanted to share what we have been doing with language!
We began our small group Scope and Sequence work this year with story writing, and many of you got to see the results at Curriculum Night. Last week, we began our Letter Meetings! These begin with the whole group, after our Morning Meeting. We started with A and B, and this week we introduced C and D. Teachers presented the sandpaper letters, and kids took turns coming up to trace the letters with a finger. Designed by Maria Montessori, these are actual sandpaper-textured letters mounted on wood boards. Because the letters are tactile, kids truly get to feel, and therefore more deeply comprehend, how each letter is formed. As the kids trace the letter, they are encouraged to say the letter’s sound. During our Morning Meeting, we have been practicing recognizing upper and lower case A, B, C and D by finding them in our Morning Messages each day, like a simple word search (letter search). Kids take turns coming up and circling letters in the message.
We have also begun small group letter work, during which kids work in groups of 3-4 with a teacher on identifying letters, practicing sounds, and writing or tracing letters. Since we have a wide range of ages in our class, activities vary depending on the group. We also now have a word wall in the classroom, and during our meetings kids practice making letter sounds and coming up with words for our wall. We’re excited to see what new words we add to our vocabularies this year as themes begin to emerge and an investigation takes shape.
In addition to Letter Meetings, kids practice language skills daily with shelf work. In our language area, we have a variety of works designed for use by all Purple Room kids, of all age range and ability. One work, which is made up of magnetic letters and a board, allows kids just becoming familiar with the shapes of different letters to explore them without structure, while other kids can practice spelling their names and other short words. All the kids practice forming letters and recognizing their names with the name tracing work. Another work challenges kids who are already familiar with the alphabet by encouraging them to sort images by initial sound.
Here are some photos of Purple Room kids at work!