sss is for sounds #montessori #reggio #lettersounds #phonemes #orton-gillingham

I’m so excited to kick off this new series, sss is for sounds, which will emphasize teaching letter sounds (phonemes) to learn letters, rather than focusing on abstract letter names, like those sung in the Alphabet Song (“aye bee cee dee eee eff gee…”).

Both the Reggio Approach and the Montessori Method emphasize letter sounds (phonemic awareness) as the basis for learning how to read and write — I talk about it more here. Letters make more sense to children when learned in this relatable way, and children are better able to transition directly to writing and reading (in that order, usually) than when they have that “extra step” of learning letter names.

Every two weeks, we’ll cover a new letter sound and offer gross motor activities, art invitations, and other learning activities to help children develop awareness and interest in the new sounds. There will be 42 mini-units in total to cover all of the letter sounds; please don’t feel like you need to do an entire mini-unit to help children develop letter sound awareness — pick your favourite activity or two, and stick to those! The whole point is to play with the letter sound and develop a comfort level with using and recognizing it.

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This series is deeply rooted in the Orton-Gillingham approach, and I have found Jolly Phonics to be an invaluable resource in developing our activities.

For the strict Montessori lovers, please check out my posts on sandpaper letters, sand trays, and sound games such as I Spy. We’ll be doing these, as well as incorporating the pink, blue, and green sound boxes into our studies — and if you don’t know what those are yet, please don’t worry, we’ll get to it!

For the Reggio lovers, we’ll be exploring various representations and ways of exploring the letter sounds each week.

Please let me know if there are additional things you would like added to the mini-units to make them work for you and your children.

The “sss” is for sounds mini-units: