Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Real Montessori - Introducing the Objects, S

One of the Montessori activities in the curriculum is Introducing the Objects.  We have 26 gladware containers, labelled with each letter of the alphabet.  The idea is to put a few little objects in each container that have the sound that particular letter makes (Here is what is in our boxes currently). I'm in the process of making my own, though it's sometimes tough to find objects for certain letters.  I was kicking myself a bit when I saw a set from Primary Concepts (link to their objects here) after having gone through all the trouble of making mine...oh well.

A little background first.  Bella was tongue tied at birth, meaning that the little tissue that holds our tongue down to the bottom of our mouth went all the way to the tip of her tongue.  This made it hard for her to feed when she was a baby, so we took her to an ENT and had that tissue snipped so her tongue could move.  She was only 5 days old at the time, so it was fixed pretty quickly, but it still added some complications to her development.

When she was around 2, we felt her language wasn't developing at the same speed as her peers, so we had her evaluated by early intervention.  She started speech therapy, and we had her hearing evaluated.  That was when we found out she had significant hearing loss due to fluid in her inner ears.  She had to have tubes placed, and her hearing tested out normally after just a few months.  But, given her physical limitations during her 2nd year, her speech is still lagging.  She's catching up quick, and is now doing speech therapy with the school department in our town.

Many of the activities we do in the Montessori curriculum we coordinate based on what we're working on in speech therapy.  Our first big challenge was the hard 'C' or 'K' sound.  Therefore, the first Object boxes we worked with a lot were those letters.  They included carrot, cup, comb, cow, cone, kazoo, and kangaroo.  In the past 2 weeks, she's finally nailed that sound, and we're SUPER excited about it.  But, no rest for the weary.  We're moving on to the 'S' sound.

Our S object box includes a spoon, spatula, starfish, strawberry, and soap.  First, I go through and name each object for her, let her hold it, let her try saying it, help her correct her pronunciations, and then I put everything away, giving her a chance to do it by herself.
The starfish is her favorite, one from my personal Swarovski crystal collection- using this instead of plastic allows her to learn to be gentle with beautiful and fragile objects

It's tough to film my part of the presentation, but here is Bella tackling it by herself.

Notice she keeps looking at me.  She's a little unsure of whether she's saying it right, so she's looking for me to smile or nod to give her the reassurance.  Ideally, I want her to find satisfaction from her own pursuits, a key Montessori concept.  So, ideally she'd be working on her own without much input from me.  But sometimes I have to be more involved.  As she gains confidence in an activity, I slowly back off.  It's wonderful to see her taking pride in her own work, and awesome to be able to combine her speech therapy with her Montessori work.  Any new angle to work on sounds is welcome.

The boxes are still a work in progress, and I may still break down and buy a set once we're settled at the new house.  Anyone know of a place where they sell just certain sounds separately instead of as a big set?


  1. I love that the kitty is watching you work sweetheart. Not everyone has a cat who cares about their hard work!

  2. www.montessoriservices.com sells a whole set. I do collect random household things, even some toys or kitchen items to use. Craft stores are great, too!

  3. What sounds are you looking for?

  4. Good point...I'll do a post with what I have in each box so you can see where we're lacking....X comes to mind...as does V. Some of them I have ideas for but just haven't gotten around to getting the object itself...like velvet for instance, or a fox.