My Montessori House
Bringing the joy of learning to children for over 90 years

Sample Article for Language and Reading
Language:  Introducing the Movable Alphabet

This project allows children to spend more time handling the movable alphabet letters and
moving these letters to form words.  Even children adept at forming beginning CVC (consonant-
vowel-consonant) words enjoy spending time handling these letters and experimenting with
word formations.  This physical manipulation is a crucial part of the learning process that should
continue until the child presses you for more.

Note that this exercise should be introduced after the Sandpaper Letters.

Material needed:
  • A set of movable alphabet letters containing at least two of each letter.
  • A tray for the letters.
  • A space on the shelf in the Language section of your home classroom, so your child can
    return to the exercise later on his or her own.
  • A small mat to roll out on the floor.  Find a mat about the size of a yoga mat, but with a
    smooth texture.

What to do:
  1. Invite your child to join you in this excise.
  2. Ask your child to please bring the mat to the floor and unroll it as you bring the movable
    alphabet letters to the mat.
  3. Take out two consonants and one vowel.  In this sample, we use m, a, t.
  4. Place the /m/ on the mat.  
  5. Ask your child to please tell you the sound.  
  6. Place the /a/ on the mat about 12 inches to the right of the /m/.
  7. Ask your child to please tell you the sound.
  8. Move the /a/ next to the /m/.  Ask your child to say both sounds.  If your child struggles or
    hesitates, you can prompt m..a…” as you say the sounds together slowly and clearly.
  9. Now move the /t/ next to the /a/.
  10. Tell your child “Now, we have “m..a…t…mat” as you sound out the word with your
  11. If your child is eager to learn more, introduce /s/ and /f/.  
  12. When you are finished, you and your child can put the letters back into the box.
  13. Your child can roll up the mat as you put the letter box away.

Why do we introduce Sandpaper Letters first?  Because it is easier for children to work with larger
letters and the texture of the sandpaper creates a strong tactile aspect to the learning
experience, which is very helpful to young children.  When children have mastered all the letter
sounds, the Movable Alphabet word formation exercises will come easily.  

On a tight budget?  Create your own letters by using Century Gothic font in size 300.  Just type
the font size into the font area. Vowels should be green or blue and consonants should be
orange or red.  You can print them in color and then cut them out, or print one control sheet
and use it to cut letters out of construction paper.
Montessori for Primary Class (Ages 3-6) Article (Excerpt 2)
Sensorial:  Measuring Cups

This is a great exercise for developing a strong base for math and fractions, while practicing
handling physical materials to develop an intuitive understanding of what fractions actually

Materials needed:
  • Measuring cups for one cup and two ½ cups.  
  • One cup full of fine-grained sand or white sugar.   
  • A tablespoon for filling the cups.
  • A small mixing or serving bowl.
  • A tray for holding everything.   

Prepare the exercise by having the cup full of sand (or sugar) in the bowl.

What to do:
  1. Invite your child to try this exercise.  
  2. Have your child bring the tray to the table.
  3. Sit on your child’s non-dominant side (on the left side of a right-handed child).
  4. Spoon all of the sand into the one-cup measuring cup.  Show your child how the sand
    comes up exactly to the one-cup mark.  
  5. Pour the sand back into the bowl.
  6. Let your child try and experiment with spooning the sand.
  7. Your child puts the exercise away and wipes up any sand on the table.  
Montessori for Primary Class (Ages 3-6) Article (Excerpt 3)
Math:  Introduction to Golden Bead Work

The exercise below introduces the material for counting up to ten and discusses tips for making
the introductory equipment.  However, making all of the ten bars, hundred squares, and
thousand cubes is a lot of work!

The original Montessori Golden Bead equipment was made with real glass beads.  Some
equipment using clear plastic beads can be found online at reasonable prices – glass bead
equipment is now hard to find and expensive when found.  This exercise assumes your child is
already comfortable with quantities and counting up to ten.

Material needed:
  • 65 golden glass beads (or purchase the Montessori Golden Bead Set).
  • Jewelry/craft wire and clippers.
  • Small cards with the numbers 1 through 10.
  • A small bowl for the unit beads.  Ideally, you would use a container that allows the unit
    beads to be lined up in rows, but these are hard to find.
  • A small tray with a felt pad covering the surface.
  • A permanent place on the shelf near the other math equipment.

If you are making the equipment, you will want to create one strand of ten beads and leave 55
individual beads unstrung.  Loop the end of the wire, so that the pointy end is tucked back next
to the wire.  Loops on both ends will keep the beads on the wire without leaving sharp ends.  
String ten beads onto the wire and close the strand with the second loop.   

What to do:
  1. Take the tray from the shelf.
  2. Invite your child to join you in the exercise.
  3. Sit on your child’s non-dominant side [on the left side of a right-handed child.
  4. Spread the cards out in order from 1 to 10 (left to right).
  5. Ask your child to place the appropriate number of beads in front of each card.
  6. Ask your child if he or she sees any other set of ten beads (the ten bead bar should be on
    the tray in front of your child).
  7. Your child counts each of the beads on the ten bar.
  8. Have your child place the ten bar next to the ten unit beads to verify that they are the
    same length.  The physical handling process is important.
  9. Your child exchanges the ten bar for the ten unit beads in front of the ten card.
  10. Your child puts everything away on the tray and places the tray on the shelf.
Help your
child start
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Receive Montessori House News
Montessori Curriculum
Ages 3 to 6

We give you step-by-step instructions on teaching everything
from sensorial development to beginning reading, math, and
much more.  Introduces Montessori equipment and explains
exactly how to present each piece of equipment!  

Great for parents and teachers!
Annual Subscription (12 Big Monthly Issues):  $12.99
Delivered via email each month!
Shop for
Shop for
Level 2 DVDs
Shop for
Shop for
Our Blog
About Us +
Contact Us