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It was Dr. Maria Montessori’s observations of children and coupled with her knowledge of the sciences where she developed a method of instruction which comprised of instruction, curriculum, philosophy, assessment, and understanding of the child based on their age and interests.

With regard to young children they love tiny objects! Second, to further engage and entice the learner, Maria Montessori reminds us the importance of presentation.

Children particularly at this age are hands on learners. Paper and pencil activities are abstract while young learners are concrete learners. Learning concretely doesn’t have to boring! Your child has lots of objects in the bottom of their toy bin! Go digging, sort them, and label them!

I looked in my treasures and found several digraphs (words with: wh, sh, th, ch, ph). Here’s a basic sequence to determine where your child is in phonics:

1. Initial (beginning sounds)
2. Reading 3 letter words (consonant vowel consonant) ex: man, can, fan
3. Reading 4 letter words (blends -consonant consonant vowel consonant) ex: frog, plug, plum
4. Digraphs (th, wh, sh, ph, ch)
5. Phonograms (vowel pairs- ee, ea, ae, ai, oo, ee, ou, oa, etc.)

I used a pan I found at my local thrift store for .50. If you don’t have a pan, a sheet of paper would work too!

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Next I sorted my objects, cut out circles and began to label them. I used red to highlight the digraph and black to write the remaining letters. The differentiation in colors are used in Montessori to help the call out to the child the differences.

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You have learning treasures and you didn’t even know it! Dig around and you’ll be amazed at what you’ll find! If you have any questions please let me know!