Maria Montessori was a big advocate of teaching writing before reading. And this make sense when you think about it. This " makes perfect sense when you consider that the process of writing is encoding, a process much less complicated than decoding, which reading necessitates. The children learn the sounds of the English language and their corresponding symbols, and soon learn that they can put these together to make words. Later on, they have what is often called an "explosion" into reading. They know all the sounds, understand concretely what it means to put letters together to make words, and for this reason are quite well-prepared for reading, and as soon as they realize that they have what it takes, generally take to it quite easily" (Melissa Joanne, Diary of a Montessori Teacher )
Our writing activities extend throughout much of the curriculum as I mentioned it in our previous post on writing. Yet, I am always on the look out for new exercises and new ideas to encourage the children to write.
Therefore, today I showed them how to write their name in the sand. It is a great practice for them. I had presented this exercise earlier on in the year but I soon realised they were not ready for it. They were still learning to recognise their names among many others and they were not that interested back then. But this time, it was a success.
I had a brainstorming session over the week end and I came up with another "amusing" way for the children to keep practising at writing their names.
I wrote their names down in big letters and pin them down on a cork board.
I wrapped a big sewing needle up with cellor tape so that their little fingers wouldn't slip on it when using it to dot the letters of their names.
This is the final result! I didn't expect them to be so keen on doing this exercise.. but they were actually queuing for it!! Imagine this! They kept asking :"when is it my turn to do my own name?". Which of course prompted a conversation between them as they queued: it takes longer to say my name than your name", or " I like my name, do you like your name?It was so interesting to listen to them. And the pride showing on their face upon completing the exercise was priceless! I am already working on new ideas slightly diverging from this presentation. Just wait and see..