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Montessori Alphabet, If I had to choose


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Should I get the sandpaper letters or the moveable alphabet? This is mainly for my 5 yo daughter who is forming letters ok, learning to spell with SWR and starting to read a bit too. But I also have 2 more coming up the ranks(so far...) and I know the next one down is going to need LOTS of multi-sensory help with language.

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Should I get the sandpaper letters or the moveable alphabet?

 

For what it's worth, I made the sandpaper letters.

 

I got a pack of memo papers (the square ones that fit in a box on an office desk). I laminated the number I needed, using one colour for upper case, another for lower case, and a third for numbers. I laminated several in one laminating sheet, with spaces between then cut them out individually.

 

For the actual letters I printed out the size I wanted, and glued them lightly to the back of sandpaper sheets as patterns. Cutting was somewhat laborious, but do-able. Use strong scissors, and be prepared to throw them away at the end! I then bonded the sandpaper letters to the laminated memo squares.

 

Teaching Montessori in the Home has a lot of information on making Montessori equipment at home.

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I also made my own "sandpaper" letters using sticky back felt. It took forever, but saved a lot of money. There is a DIY montesesori site that has the templates--i can post it later when I am on my computer. Another thing you can do is use cardstock, glue and sand.

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You can also make them using cardstock (no need to laminate) and textured scrapbooking sticker letters (Michael's or a craft store will have them). There's nothing magic about the sandpaper, it's just a texture.

 

You can also just use magnet letters for the moveable alphabet. I like the Melissa and Doug wooden set--or the Dollar Store has them (and of course, they are cheaper!). You can spray paint the vowels one color and the consonants another (red and blue are typical, but there's nothing magic about those colors, either). You can put them in a compartmentalized sewing box or a tackle box. Make sure you get enough of each letter.

 

I will say that there is something wonderful about the actual Montessori materials--the nature of the material calls to the child, but I'm not a purist. I don't like plastic anything, except a plastic dolly to wash and plastic animals to put in water play, but the procedure for the letters is the same, no matter the material. It's just that the thought is, the prettier materials (wood, natural fiber, etc) will encourage more manipulation by the child.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I would purchase both, if at all possible. That being said, depending on your dd's development, she may be nearly passed the sandpaper letter stage. The only exercise I'm familiar with using the sandpaper letters is forming letters. The moveable outfit is used to form words, consonant blends, and groupings based on same letter, ending sound, etc.

 

Have you looked into Lakeshore Learning? I purchased both their "tactile letters" and "classroom alphabet'. Sure. they're not as attractive as true Montessori materials, but they do the job just fine. The only real difference I have noticed is that in a true Montessori moveable alphabet, the letters are proportioned much better. The magnetic ones in the set I purchased from Lakeshore Learning are very close to the same size. We are just beginning working on writing on lined paper with my 5.5 year old and I can see now where a M. moveable alphabet would be better. She'd be able to note that certain letters "hang down" (g, j, y), while some are taller (f, h, k, etc).

 

If she is not having many problems forming her letters, then it's likely you could skip those and just purchase a moveable alphabet.

 

Tactile Letters

 

Classroom Magnetic Letters Kit

 

HTH!

Edited by Lisa3033
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I bought sandpaper letters from Didax (amazon.com sells them, but I originally got them someplace else). If you don't let your children mishandle them (ie. they only use them during "school"), they last for a long time.

 

For the moveable alphabet, since it is so expensive, I got this plastic set from Montessori N Such and this box. It wasn't cheap, but it was cheaper than most moveable alphabet, and I have used it for all three of my children.

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Hi,

 

I'm getting ready to purchase some sandpaper letters and moveable alphabet letters as well. My only question is whether to get them in cursive or print :001_huh:. I found both at www.montessorioutlet.com, the sandpaper letters are pretty expensive but the moveable alphabet is reasonable http://www.montessorioutlet.com/cgi-bin/item/510400090/5104/Montessori-Outlet-Small-Movable-Alphabet-%28Print%2C-Mix-Blue-%26-Red%29

 

Let me know if you find any others you like, I still haven't ordered mine so I would be interested to see other options.

 

Marisa

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I would definitely go with the movable alphabet if you have to choose. Your dc will be able to use it for a longer period of time. My dd was never that interested in the sandpaper letters anyways, and as other posters have said, you could make them pretty easily.

 

They have movable alphabets at alisonsmontessori.com for a very reasonable price (that is where I got mine). This one is only $22 http://www.alisonsmontessori.com/Movable_Alphabet_Lower_Case_p/l08.htm

 

They have sandpaper letters (uppercase) on clearance there for $15 right now, too.

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I would definitely go with the movable alphabet if you have to choose. Your dc will be able to use it for a longer period of time. My dd was never that interested in the sandpaper letters anyways, and as other posters have said, you could make them pretty easily.

 

They have movable alphabets at alisonsmontessori.com for a very reasonable price (that is where I got mine). This one is only $22 http://www.alisonsmontessori.com/Movable_Alphabet_Lower_Case_p/l08.htm

 

They have sandpaper letters (uppercase) on clearance there for $15 right now, too.

 

Thanks for the link, I have never looked at this site before. Off I go exploring... :001_smile:

 

Marisa

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I just wanted to mention to everyone interested in Montessori there is a social group on here called Exploring Montessori. Just go to social groups, then uncategorized, then Exploring Montessori. It is not active right now but maybe if there are enough of us interested we can get it moving :001_smile:. Here is the link (hopefully this works) http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/group.php?groupid=56

 

Marisa

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Hi,

 

I'm getting ready to purchase some sandpaper letters and moveable alphabet letters as well. My only question is whether to get them in cursive or print :001_huh:. I found both at www.montessorioutlet.com, the sandpaper letters are pretty expensive but the moveable alphabet is reasonable http://www.montessorioutlet.com/cgi-bin/item/510400090/5104/Montessori-Outlet-Small-Movable-Alphabet-%28Print%2C-Mix-Blue-%26-Red%29

 

Let me know if you find any others you like, I still haven't ordered mine so I would be interested to see other options.

 

Marisa

 

I would get print. Traditionally, Montessori schools all started with cursive but in today's world, cursive is becoming a lost art where as print is everywhere.

 

The reason for starting with cursive first was that letter reversals and such happened far less frequently and it was easier to see letters blending to form words because cursive letters all connect to each other. We decided to use print and will likely not purchase cursive. As long as you can sign your name and read cursive, that's all you really need.

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