Sunday, April 6, 2008

Nurturing a Love of Language

Corn Meal tray & Sand Paper Letters

For success in language a child needs confidence that what she has to say is important, a desire to relate to others, real experience on which language is based, and the physical abilities necessary in reading and writing. There are several things we can do to help.
We can listen attentively and with eye contact, and speak to the child in a respectful tone. We can provide a stimulating environment, rich in sensorial experiences and in language--language is meaningless if it is not based on experience. We can set an example and model precise language in our everyday activities with the child. If we share good literature, in the form of rhymes, songs, poetry and stories we will greatly increase our children's love of language. ~~Michael Olaf

Listen ~~ Speak ~~ Model ~~ Share
Pictured here is a 3 year old boy sits exploring the corn meal tray. Together he and I had just finished taking turns tracing the sand paper letters in his name. When I introduced him to the corn meal tray, he was excited and then sat quietly for many moments feeling the corn meal and moving his fingers through it revealing the blue base of the box.
He chose this work again and again, day after day, until he was ready to move on.
I recently visited this boy's kindergarten classroom where he shared with me, what he calls "fancy writing". There on his paper were swirly cursive letters....spelling out his name.



amy t sharp said...

love this - we do this with the tray.

Montessori Mama said...

thanks Amy, a Montessori original inspired by her experience working with special needs children who had very few materials available to them.
My boys always enjoyed writing in soap suds in the tub. Little One loves finger paint, I don't think we are ready for sand or corn meal just yet. Enjoy Finn.

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