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Montessori ๐Ÿ’— Pink Series ย "i" sound (Language 101 ๐ŸŽฅ Series ๐ŸŽ‡ Curriculum)

The process of learning how to read can be as simple and joyful as the process of learning how to walk. In Montessori Language curriculum, the hands-on phonetic approach helps children form a clear understanding of how written words encode the spoken sounds into the symbolic letters of the alphabet. By using this technique, young children master sounds made by each letter, as well as letters represented by each sound. 

In a Montessori โ€œPink-Blue-Green" Series approach, the child progresses very gradually as s/he is first introduced to three CVC letter words in ๐Ÿ’—PINK Series, then blends (st, bl, pr...) in๐Ÿ’™ BLUE Series, and finally digraphs (sh, th, ch, oi...) in ๐Ÿ’š GREEN Series.  

DSC_0125Today, we are working with"i" sound from ๐Ÿ’—Pink Series.

In a Montessori literacy curriculum, Pink ๐Ÿ’—Series is the first step in teaching a child how to  ๐Ÿ“– read. After a child is familiar with sandpaper letters and knows about 15 letters of the alphabet, s/he can start working with Movable Alphabet while slowly incorporating the Pink Series boxes. Pink Series 3-letter phonetic words have the same pattern: CVC = Consonant -Vowel -Consonant. All of the vowels at this stage are short vowels: "a" as in ๐Ÿฑcat, "e" as in ๐Ÿ–Špen, "i" as in ๐Ÿทpig, "o" as in ๐Ÿ“ฆ box, and "u" as in ๐ŸŒžsun. All the words in ๐Ÿ’—Pink Series are phonetically decodable, that is all of the letters used in the series retain their phonetic sound that the child recognizes and is used to it. Pink Series boxes are arranged by sounds. In a video below, Adrian is working with [i] sound.

To compose the word, we are using Movable Alphabet (buy here), but you can use any letters on hand or simply write letters on a piece of paper. With younger children, also place a picture or an object representing that picture next to the word so that the child has visual assistance. At this age with Adrian, I generally just place the words in front of him, and only once he successfully blends the sounds, Julia or I would place an object representing that word next to it. 

 Viv Yapp (check it out here) was kind enough to make a little ๐Ÿ“ฝvideo of ๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐ŸผAdrian ๐Ÿ“– reading the CVC word "bin" (see here or here).  

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For more on ๐Ÿ’—Pink Series CVC blending, see here Montessori ๐Ÿ’— Pink Series  "e" sound post which has a video of Adrian blending sounds and reading the words first, and only then being shown corresponding objects.

For an introduction to Literacy in Montessori Language curriculum, and our "Letter hunts" read our Letter Series post here, where you will also find other letters we have been exploring.

Enjoy your adventure on the road to literacy!


โ˜ฎ๏ธPEACE Educationโ€ข Have you Filled a Bucket Today? ๐Ÿ“š Book

One of the six main categories of Montessori Practical Life activities are social lessons on Grace and Courtesy which include developing social skills such as saying please and thank you, learning how to take turns and listen to others, proper table manners, how to interrupt someone, how to speak with an inside/outside voice, or how to turn the page of a book. The emphasis is always placed on the personal dignity of the child and the respect of individual rights. Dr. Maria Montessori strongly believed that a natural companion to Grace and Courtesy is Peace education, having great confidence that if we are able to raise peaceful children, they will, in turn, grow up to be respectful and peaceful adults. โ€œChildren are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by reason of their innocence and of the greater possibilities of their future. ... Within the child, lies the fate of the future,โ€ she said. 

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So, to promote โ˜ฎ๏ธ peace education, we love ๐Ÿ“– reading Have You Filled a Bucket Today? ๐Ÿ“šbook (buy here). While the book encourages positive behavior by alluding to an invisible bucket to show children how easy and rewarding it is to express kindness, appreciation, and love by "filling buckets," I had set up an area with a real bucket, scrap-paper, ๐Ÿ–Špencils, and โœ‚๏ธscissors. 

DSC_0026After reading the book, my children naturally wanted to be "bucket fillers," and to become mindful of that, they would โœ๐Ÿป๏ธwrite daily one thing that filled another's bucket (or their own). Filling one's invisible bucket can be a kind word, a smile, or a hug. Being caring and sharing, being patient and learning to wait a turn, helping each other in play or work also counts as "filling a bucket." There are so many ways to enrich someone's day! 

DSC_0028This had become a beautiful tradition to come to the bucket and retrospect about the day: "What have I done to make another's day brighter? Have I filled someone's bucket today?" These thoughts bring the child to the primary act itself, strengthening the connection between the deed (e.g. a hug) and the result (e.g. happy Mommy). 

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So, our bucket is filled with love notes, hearts, drawings, colorful bookmarks for Mommy and so forth. As such, our bucket helps us be mindful, considerate and compassionate. 

DSC_0028"Adrian filled my bucket by giving me a smile," Julia. 

Dr. Montessori described education, as a "help to life" which starts at birth, feeding a peaceful revolution and uniting all in a common aim, attracting them to a single center. She encouraged Mothers, fathers, and politicians to "combine in their respect and help for this delicate work of formation, which the little child carries on in the depth of a profound psychological mystery, under the tutelage of an inner guide. This is the bright new hope for mankind.โ€ (The Absorbent Mind, p. 15).  So, when my children come to the bucket, they stop, think and reflect: about the day and what they did, mindful qualities which are the core of Montessori espoused Peace education. Thus, I hope that by building a peaceful core, it will prove to be a strong pivoting center for a peaceful adult. And our peaceful education needs not be elaborate: it can be as simple as reading a book and "filling one's bucket" with happy thoughts and happy deeds. 

For more about our โ˜ฎ๏ธPEACE Education, read here "๐Ÿ•‰Mindfulness with Children" and how to introduce it. 


โœ‚๏ธ๐Ÿ–๏ธDIY ๐Ÿ“– Reading Wheel (Middler Letter Recognition, Montessori 101 Language)

While Adrian has been able to correctly identify the first sound of the word for a while now; only a few months before his fourth birthday, he started to be able to isolate the ending and the middle sound. To practice the middle sound identification, Julia made this DIY Reading Wheel for Adrian to practice literacy as well as fine-motor skills, while he had to find and pinch the clothespins with the missing middle letter. 

DSC_0320Julia drew three-letter objects and wrote the corresponding words with the middle letter missing. 

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Adrian had to figure out the missing sound and find the corresponding letter among clothespins. 

DSC_0320"cAt, sUn, mAp, fLy, oNe, sKy, nUt, rUg."
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This DIY wheel is similar to CVC Word Cards and clothespins (buy here) where a child has to match the letter-clothespin to the corresponding letter on the cards. 

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You can read about Adrian using these cards and clothespins at 3 years-old here "Montessori CVC Picture Words & Clothespins (๐Ÿ’—Pink Series ๐ŸŽฅ Early ๐Ÿ“– Reading 101)."

For more on our Language curriculum and phonetical order sets, read here the introductory post: "Montessori Phonetical Order of presenting ABCs Alphabet letters." For individual letters, read here our "๐Ÿ”  Letter Series (Montessori Language)" post. For beginning blending, see here "๐Ÿ’™ BLUE Series /St/ Blending (Montessori 101 Language)."


๐Ÿ’™ BLUE Series /St/ Blending (Montessori 101 Language)

In a Montessori "PBG" Language scheme (Pink-Blue-Green series approach), the child progresses very gradually as s/he is first introduced to three letter words in๐Ÿ’— PINK Series, then blends (/st/, /bl/, /pr/...) in ๐Ÿ’™ BLUE Series, and finally digraphs (/sh/, /th/, /ch/, /oi/...) in ๐Ÿ’š GREEN series.

If you think about it, letters of the alphabet are merely written codes for spoken sounds in words. As such, actual language is, according to Dr. Maria Montessori, an "abstract instrument" -  a "complex cultural achievement." So, letters, being actual codes,  represent something a child first experiences in real life, something s/he encounters in an everyday environment. So, the road to literacy would always start with the spoken language: with sounds and familiar objects that begin with that sound, and only introducing symbols once the child exhibits proficiency with the sound recognition.

The process of learning how to read can be as simple and painless as the process of learning how to speak or how to walk. In a Montessori language curriculum, hands-on phonetic approach is used, which helps young children to form a clear understanding of how written words encode the spoken sounds of the language into the symbolic letters of the alphabet. Using this technique, children master the sounds made by each letter, as well as the letter represented by each sound, one letter at a time until the entire alphabet has been mastered. 

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With Montessori "PBG" Language scheme, once the child masters the ๐Ÿ’— PINK Series, you would gradually move on to BLUE ๐Ÿ’™ Series, which introduces blends. A consonant blend or a cluster is a group of consonants that are next to each other in a word. So today (after having explored the letter "S" during our Letter Hunt/see the link below), we are moving on to the first blend:  /st/ blend, which is two consonants that go together, while you can hear both letters e.g. "s-t" in a word "star." )    
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 A consonant cluster, consonant sequence or consonant compound, in linguistics, is a group of consonants which have no intervening vowel.
 
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 /St/  is a consonant cluster in the words: stone, starfish, straw, stamp, stick, sticker.
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Incorporating hands-on approach, in my opinion, facilitates a better absorption of the information presented. So, I offered Adrian four different activities to practice our /st/ blend.
  • stamp with a  star stamp and these amazing colorful ink pad stamps; also stamp with a star-puncher;
  • stain the shaving foam with different colors and use pegs (clothespins) to stain the paper;
  • stick  the star stickers;
  • strain confetti stars from the sand with a small metal strainer.

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As a result of these hands-on practical life activities, Adrian had fun practicing the /st/ blend.

See here "Letter 'S' (Letter ๐Ÿ”  Series). See "Montessori ๐Ÿ’— Pink Series  "e" sound (Language 101 ๐ŸŽฅ Series ๐ŸŽ‡ Curriculum)" here

For more on our Language curriculum and phonetical order sets, read here the introductory post: "Montessori Phonetical Order of presenting ABCs Alphabet letters." For individual letters, read here our ๐Ÿ”  Letter Series (Montessori Language) post.


Letter "S" (Letter ๐Ÿ”  Series)

Although Adrian knows his ABCs, "letter hunts" where he gets to walk around the house with a basket collecting objects that begin with a particular sounds are still one of his favorite activities. Today, we are exploring letter "S" before moving on to blends such as /st/sh/sr/ etc. 

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"S" is for Stitch, sock, stars, sponge, sword, soap, stamp, snake, spinach, Swiss chard, scorpion, seahorse, squirrel, seagull, sailboat, slide & SnowWhite, starfish, scarecrow, skeleton, seal, snowy owl, sea turtle, sand tracing tray, sandpaper letter S, stone, snowmen. (Also, you can add: six, screwdriver, spoon, snow, sun, swing, sidewalk, sprinkler, seesaw, seaweed, sandbox, streetlight, stop sign.)  

DSC_0270We are using Discovery Windows (buy here) to store fragile starfish my Mom had collected for us while in Malaysia.
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DSC_0263S is for sticks, ๐Ÿ”ด๐Ÿ”ทโ—ฝ๏ธshapes like a square, โญ๏ธstars & ๐Ÿ—กswords.
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For more on pin-poking, see "Letter V" post here. 

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"S" is for sand. See here how to make tactile "DIY Sandpaper Letters."

For more on our Language curriculum and phonetical order sets, read here the introductory post: "Montessori Phonetical Order of presenting ABCs Alphabet letters." For individual letters, read here our ๐Ÿ”  Letter Series (Montessori Language) post. For beginning blending, see here "๐Ÿ’™ BLUE Series /St/ Blending (Montessori 101 Language)."