Montessori Activity: Making Letters in the Buttercup Room

April 29, 2016

Montessori education puts a major emphasis on learning about the written language as soon as possible. Children are exposed to words, sounds, and letters daily in order to build their burgeoning vocabularies. At Pebblecreek, we like to mix words with movement and puzzle problems to get the kids passionate about learning!

In the Buttercup Room, our primary children have an exciting opportunity to learn letters in an interactive way. For this activity, the instructor has a set of shapes—mostly lines and curves—set aside for the children. Students get to take turns assembling the letters on the floor. When watching each other, young children learn that the letter “H” is made up of three lines or that “Q” is a circle with an extra curve on the end. The lines and curves aren’t just shapes—they’re the beginning of words. Each child has the opportunity to look at the letters as they’re being constructed and to see how they come together.

We’ve talked about the benefits of a multi-age classroom before. When observing activities like these, it’s much easier to see how the children learn from each other. The instructor has demonstrated the exercise before and provides gentle support and guidance when it’s necessary. By blending children in these similar age groups, they learn how to collaborate with one another. They model each other’s behaviors with more enthusiasm than those of instructors, making it even easy for them to learn without knowing it.

Another benefit of teaching the alphabet with this method is the full body engagement children get to experience. So much of traditional education tries to teach literacy with repetition and rote memorization that kids lose interest in words before they can even begin to understand them. Our approach lets the kids be kids and move around. They stand, squat, arrange, and rearrange to their hearts’ content. Their reward for this hard work? A perfectly assembled, beautiful alphabet that every student had a hand in creating. Far from the typical rehearsal, the Buttercup Room treats learning as a game!

What Makes a Montessori Teacher?Independent Children, Productive Adults

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