Language in the Montessori Casa

February 02, 2017

Language is an integral part of a Montessori classroom. Much of our work in the early years is preparing the child to read and write. It begins with our Practical Life activities and moves throughout all of the other areas of the classroom. One of the purposes of the practical life and sensorial activities is for refining the fine motor control a child needs for successful pencil control. Writing requires not only the brain to understand how certain letters and sounds come together to make words but also the fine motor skills and coordination to hold a pencil. All the lessons are presented from left to right in order to get the brain and hand ready for reading and writing.

Moveable Alphabet

The moveable alphabet is a tool within Montessori that guides a child towards writing as s/he visibly creates words from letters.  The work is “hands-on” so a child is getting a physical impression of the word as they move the letters and his language mind to create words. Sandpaper letters and a sand tray provide a similar experience. We also offer the Fun Family Phonics program to help children easily recognise the sound and the letter.

Blending Sounds

Unlike writing where a child has control over the language he chooses to symbolize with letters, reading presents a child something a bit more abstract. The moveable alphabet work and the phonetic words and pictures or objects (Pink, blue and green boxes) introduce the child to listening for and also blending sounds together to form words. This work is the foundation and the most critical part of the language program. Once the child has mastered this work we can then move on to more abstract and less hands on activities such us blending apples and then phonetic readers. We send these home for further practise when a child is successfully blending and hearing the words.

Beginning to Read

Some children are ready for blending and explode into reading during their years in the Casa. Some need more time to build their skills and confidence using all the other wonderful Montessori activities. We do not compare the children we merely allow them to come to reading when they are ready. If your child is not bringing home a book bag yet – DON’T PANIC – please – understand that they are working very hard to be able to be successful at reading and writing. If we put pressure on them when they are not ready it can cause anxiety and a loss of confidence and ultimately a fear of reading.


All the children are consistently working at their level and pace. Some children will not explode into reading until Kindergarten or Grade One. We have to allow the child to be confident in their abilities and ready for each new step of the process.

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