In the summer, it is common for many schools to begin the transition of moving younger students into the classroom. As teachers strive for normalization, reviewing your early writing curriculum and materials is a great way to help the entire group feel more at ease in the classroom.
Pre-writing activities happen all over the classroom through the use of didactic materials that strengthen the child's pincer grip. From the Knobbed Cylinders to various practical life transfer kits, the daily practice of these small movements help the child prepare in ways they aren't even aware of.
The Sand Tray
In the language area, pre-writing begins with the sand tray and sandpaper letters. The sand tray is the perfect work for the youngest toddlers in your classroom. The sensory input of feeling the sand, as well as the muscle memory being built, prepare the hand for future writing endeavors. For extensions to this work, use the sand tray tracing cards or use a different colored sand. Children will love practicing their shapes and letters in this tray while they subconsciously begin to learn important hand movements.
Once a child can begin to comfortable hold a writing utensil, introduce them to letter tracing and the pin punching work.
This lowercase wooden letter tracing board has beautifully painted letters that match the moveable alphabet. It comes with a wooden stylus and has guides on the board for proper letter formation. Children will love using this board as they practice both their early writing and phonemic awareness. Once the child progresses to uppercase letters, introduce this double sided wooden letter tracing board that comes with both lowercase and uppercase letters to trace.
The ways in which pin punching can be used in the Montessori classroom seem endless. From tracing and punching out the metal insets to tracing and punching out the countries and continents of the Earth, pin punching is a wonderful activity for all ages to use in the classroom.
At Montessori N' Such, we have thick high quality felt that will take on years of pin punching flawlessly. The thick pads come in two sizes, and are deep enough to protect your wooden trays and tables from pokes and pricks. Now is the perfect time to restock your classroom for the late summer / early fall.
This week's worksheet is a summer pin punching extension. Use the attached worksheet to invite children to practice punching out all types of various summer shapes.