Language is based on phonetic awareness. Children work through specific hands-on and tactile language materials such as the sandpaper letters to the moveable alphabet. Language is not an isolated topic but runs through the curriculum. The spoken language is the foundation for writing and then reading.
Exposing children to a literacy-rich environment begins with reading aloud. Reading aloud to children, especially with enthusiasm and inflection of the voice, facilitates children’s readiness for formal reading instruction in four areas: oral, cognitive skills, concepts of printed words, and phonetic awareness. A Montessori language arts program combines phonics with the whole language. Phonics is defined as a method of teaching children to read, write and pronounce words by learning the phonetic value of letters, letter groups and syllables. The whole language indicates that children will learn to read and write by being immersed in a world of spoken and written words.
We utilize the Balanced Literacy reading program to complement the Montessori materials, which contains both approaches. In addition to reading activities like reading aloud, our students have the opportunity to foster language arts skills through speaking in a circle, telling a story about pictures and experiences, seeing printed labels, tracing, colouring and, eventually, writing their very own thoughts and stories down in a journal.
Books and Story Time
As part of the Montessori Language Arts curriculum, we visit the public library and borrow books to share with the children at circle time. We base our book choices on current topics being discussed in our classroom or for a relaxing, kick-back- silly time.