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Montessori in a Minute: the Moveable Alphabet

Updated: Mar 1, 2021

The Moveable Alphabet is one of the most used language materials in the Montessori Primary classroom. It is used at multiple ages to develop alphabet recognition and language skills.

This tool consists of a wooden box that houses multiple sets of lowercase wooden letters in alphabetical order. Vowels are blue, and consonants are red to help students differentiate between the two. It is usually introduced to children between ages 3 and 5 once they can recognize symbols and the phonetic sounds they represent.

Montessori language materials like the Moveable Alphabet help engage and solidify the student’s relationship with the spoken and written language. Children focus on single letter sounds when this tool is first introduced but quickly move to words and eventually sentences and short stories. Not only does this material help children build words (beginning with consonant/vowel/consonant), but it develops a keen awareness of beginning and ending sounds, blends, discrimination of sounds and symbols, and more. The Moveable Alphabet also allows children to write creatively without having to handwrite—a very difficult skill. It teaches editing and spelling as well.

Montessori schools like Hudson Montessori School utilize specially designed tools like the Movable Alphabet to promote experiential and sensorial learning that students can repeatedly practice at each age level. Often, these tools are self-correcting, allowing the child to check their work and adjust accordingly.

This Montessori In A Minute series regularly explores the unique benefits of these fundamental materials.

To learn more about Hudson Montessori School’s interdisciplinary, theme-based learning approach to education, the Montessori philosophy and methodology, or how the school fosters the love of learning for children age 2 to sixth grade, sign up for an open house tour most Tuesdays at 9 a.m.

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