Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Oral Exams - Part Four: Phonetic Object Box

The Language portion of Oral Exams took place on the fourth day.  Having successfully completed the other exams on the previous three days (read about them here, here, and here), the group was looking forward to completion of our training!  I was feeling quite confident with most of the Language lessons and waited with anticipation to find out which lesson I would be presenting.  I ended up with the Phonetic Object Box!

Phonetic Object Box as seen in the Montessori Services catalogue. 

The most significant aspect of this lesson is that now the child begins to read!  Up until this point in the curriculum, he has been working with letter sounds (Sound Games, Sandpaper Letters, Moveable Alphabet) and composing them into sounds, or encoding.  Now, the child see the sounds, sounds them out and says the word, i.e. decoding.  How delightful it is to watch a child's reaction when they discover they can read!

Another critical aspect of this lesson in my opinion, is the initial component of writing.  During the first presentation, the teacher writes out the words on slips of paper.  In my classroom, the writing is done in cursive.  Once the child completes this first portion of the lesson, he is then introduced to the printed labels. I value this specific opportunity for the child to be exposed  both the cursive writing as well as the printed words.  In fact, the remaining lessons of the Language curriculum follow the same premise - the teacher writes the word/s, phrases, or sentences in cursive while the printed versions are available for the child's independent work.  What a brilliant way to blend both cursive and manuscript!  I have written extensively about my opinion regarding the teaching of cursive writing in this post.

It was with a great sense of accomplishment that I traveled back home upon completing the Oral Exams in my Montessori training program.  I remain grateful not only for the learning opportunities which enhanced my knowledge about all things Montessori, but also for the chance to meet inspiring individuals in my group of cohorts and instructors.

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