Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Life in the Pink Tower: Sandpaper Letters and Zen
In the classroom the sandpaper letters are in cursive. Children learn to write in cursive rather than print. I prefer printing, so our sp letters are lowercase print. ( In my mind italicized is ideal.) Here is a great link http://www.ehow.com/how_4510034_use-montessori-sandpaper-letters.html to give an overview of how to work with the letters.
I want to add for each step I give Grace space and leave her side. She choses when she is ready to move on. Forcing her to do 'just one more' or saying 'you can't be done already!' or even "are you still making that same letter?" None of that is beneficial, quite the opposite. Although if the child begins to misuse the materials (i.e. sprinkling sand on the floor) offer a reminder of the correct way to use it and if the child continues simply put the materials away. You can let them know you will bring them out another time when they are ready to use them as shown. I like to think of it as everything has a function and that is what we use them for--Chairs are for sitting, pencils are for writing, blocks are for building, etc... I don't believe this stifles creativity in the least bit.