Paper Moveable Alphabet

After a child has worked with the wooden moveable alphabet, the child is introduced to a moveable alphabet made from paper or thin plastic with the lower case on one side and the upper case on the back.  This alphabet has about 25 of each letter so that they can begin to write sentences.  Usually two colours of this alphabet are given so that phonograms can be isolated in a different colour when learning them.  I’ve also seen some green phongram moveable “alphabets” with the main phonograms given in order that the child has all the sounds available.

Pumpkin 1 isn’t quite ready for this alphabet but I figured I’d better start making it.  I wanted it in cursive and so far I’ve only found ready made print ones available for purchase and I wanted to save a little money doing my own.  I found a PDF online and purchased it but I discovered that it couldn’t be printed back to front.  One had to print the lower-case and upper-case on separate sheets.  This would mean twice the amount of cutting and then sticking them together for laminating.  Cutting and laminating and then re-cutting 25 of each letter for two alphabets is a lot of cutting.  I didn’t want to have to add to that.  So I created my own version to print and designed it to be printed front to back.  Because I found my printer doesn’t print exactly the same depending on how it draws in the paper, I put lines on only one side for cutting, with no lines on the back so there was no worry if it printed off a little; it wouldn’t be noticeable.

I made them the right size to fit into this container sold on Amazon.  (click photo for link)

Now I’ve begun the task of printing and cutting and laminating.  It’s going to take a while.  I’ve done about 7 of each letter of the black alphabet and 4 of each phonogram.  I don’t think I need 25 of the phonograms.  I purchased a smaller container for the phonograms but they wouldn’t all fit so I put a few in the black alphabet container.

My printed alphabet PDF is available for purchase on my Etsy store.  It comes with 4 sets of alphabets in black, red, green and blue and a green set of phonograms.

A tip for those printing and laminating their own.  Put a dab of glue stick on the back to keep the pieces in place in the laminating sheet.  After it goes through the laminator the glue won’t be visible or ruin the print in anyway.

Introduction to Addition

So our new math materials from IFIT arrived quicker than I expected.  I was very happy with the quality.  I’ve always been happy with my purchases from there.  Pumpkin 1 was excited to use them.  I realized after that I should have done the change game before addition, though it’s not necessary.  However now that we’ve done addition I think I’ll stick to static addition (no carrying) and then introduce changing once she’s confident with addition.  I’m planing to teach her to add from left to right than right to left since that’s how you use the soroban.


So first we did two amounts on different mats.  The wooden cubes and squares and the large and one of the small number sets are all from IFIT>


Then we moved all the materials onto one carpet to “add” them together.  It’s such an ingenious way to teach addition and really gives a child the concrete, hands-on experience of it.


I’d been struggling on how to move forward with language and the moveable alphabet with Pumpkin 1.  Someone suggested trying the Montessori Pink Series.  I downloaded the card set for free from The Helpful Garden.  It went over really well.  Pumpkin 1 was really into writing the words.  I think it helped to have them sorted by the vowel.  It was too hard for her to hear the different vowels so this way it’s easier for her to break down the word to write it.


Later I caught her trying to sound out words in a learning to read book.  We’ve looked at the books before but she hadn’t figured out the concept of sounding the words out so I put it aside.  It’s exciting that she’s transferring the knowledge to other areas.  It’s hard to trust the Montessori process because it’s different than what’s traditionally done, but it really works!


Sound Boxes

In Montessori it’s important to teach the concept of sounds before teaching letters.  This is done with the I Spy game.  Pumpkin 1 loves letters and loves learning the names for everything.  Therefore she can already name most of her letters by their phonetic sound.  She loves playing with her foam letters in the bath.  Most of this she’s picked up just by playing and reading books and seeing letters around her on signs, clothing, toys, etc…, not by any formal teaching on my part.

Using objects is a great way to engage a child and helps to solidify concepts in the brain.

But in our new conception the view is taken that movement has great importance in mental development itself provided that the action which occurs is connected with the mental activity going on.  -Maria Montessori

It’s great to put together “sound boxes” made up of objects that begin with each sound in the English language, keeping in mind that there are more sounds than there are letters (for instance “sh” and “ch”).  The objects should correctly represent the sound.  For instance you wouldn’t use a sheep to represent the letter “s”.  You can usually find many little toys around the house or even purchase some “trinket” bags off of etsy.

Since Pumpkin 1 is young for letters and sounds, she doesn’t really understand the concept of “I Spy” yet, so instead I have her do sorting.  I pull out two draws and we go through each object and sort them.  I try to pick two letters that sound quite different.  “Puh” and “Buh” wouldn’t be a good idea for her to sort at this point of time.  It is still a little tricky for her but she loves it and asks to do it all the time.


I store our objects in a tool cabinet.


Here is an example of what is in our “c” drawer.


Another option is to print off pictures instead of using objects.  This is an inexpensive alternative and great if you find the objects are a distraction for your child.

This book set is also a great way to do the I Spy game

What Did We Do All Day reviews these books and mentions how sometimes objects can be too distracting as the child wants to play with them.

Here are some other blogs on Sound Boxes