Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Introducing the Montessori Movable Alphabet to the Preschool Student

This year long series looks at the experiences of teachers, parents, students, and Montessori education itself, as we follow a student through his first year at a Montessori Preschool. The Montessori Insights and Reflections of a Preschool Student’s First Year is a collection of useful stories, tips, and information that has arisen from one real student's Montessori journey, viewed through the eyes of his Montessori Teacher, Bree Von Nes.

NAMC montessori movable alphabet introducing to preschool student

Interest in the Movable Alphabet – Part 2
I was so excited to be able to introduce Jordan to the Movable Alphabet simply because he wanted to do it for so long and it is wonderful to see that he is finally ready to be introduced to it. The look on his face as we carried the Movable Alphabet to a floor mat was priceless! Jordan eagerly sat down on the floor and removed the lid of the box, his eyes wide with anticipation.

Introducing the Montessori Movable Alphabet to the Preschool Student

I began taking out the letters one by one asking him to tell me the sound of each one. He did so effortlessly and was clearly ready to move on to the next step. I pulled a small cat figurine out of a small fabric bag and said to Jordan, “Let’s see if we can write the word, cat.” I placed the cat on the floor mat and said, “What is the first sound you hear in the word cat?” He quickly responded by saying “c” and then searched for it in the Movable Alphabet. Once he found it he placed it on the floor mat beside the little cat figurine.

I then asked, “What sound do you hear after the sound ‘c’?” He gave me a bit of a blank stare, so I provided a little assistance … I said the word, ‘cat’, but really emphasized the middle sound. Jordan then heard the sound, “a” and removed it from the Movable Alphabet placing it carefully beside the ‘c’. He then found the last sound and placed it at the end of the word. I sounded out each of the sounds so that he could hear they in fact made the word, ‘cat.’

After that, I could tell he was starting to lose focus, so I suggested we put the work away and try a different word on another day. He then asked me the cutest question, “Teacher Bree, could we please leave “my word” on the floor mat so that I can show my mommy when she comes to pick me up. She won’t believe her eyes that I sounded out the word by myself!” How could I say ‘no’ to that? We left his work on the mat and he showed his Mom with such pride when she came to pick him up.

Related NAMC blogs:
As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Tuesday, March 1, 2011.


  1. Hi Tony! I'm pleased to hear that you found the post helpful. The Moveable Alphabet is such a wonderful teaching tool!


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