Tuesday, April 24, 2007

the word book for Aidan

This is what Aidan and I were working on this morning –

(Disclaimer: I don’t have any formal Montessori experience — I can’t even get the hang of reading the books about Montessori at home — so this is just how I am using the materials to suit my special needs learner. Concrete and visual works great for him so that’s the way I’m going with this –)

I cut out the moveable alphabet (printed on cream-colored cardstock covered with clear contact paper) and then cut up little sticky velcro strips to put on the back of each letter.

Then I printed out the “pink cards” on regular printer paper and covered them with contact paper too.

I bordered the words with red ,and you can see I have the vowels outlined with blue because we only have a b&w printer. I like the idea of having the vowels a different color because that is how his Vtech phonics board is set up and somehow he can now pick out the vowels in all the V Tech words )

I kept the words and pictures attached to each other for now but in future I may cut them apart to use for matching.

You can see how the word “jet” formed of the alphabet letters is put on the velcro tape so it stays where it is put. Before this, he was using laminated letters with no backing and he was having trouble keeping the letters from sliding.

So he doesn’t have to choose from Every.Single.Letter I think I am going to put a few letters on the side as I showed above, so that he can choose from a limited selection at least at first.

The old sticker book I found has laminated-type pages so you can even write on them with a dry-erase pen. Plus the back cover has a built-in folder/envelope where you can store the picture cards and letters.

Both the little ones wanted to play work with it right away but the little Velcro tabs weren’t on firmly enough yet — they supposedly take 24 hours to firmly set.

A variation that has occured to me is to take little magnetic stickers (you can get magnetic backings for business cards at office supply stores) and put them on the back of the laminated alphabet. That way, they could use them on the fridge or on the Doug and Melissa magnetic board they have.

One other variation — I could print out another set of the pink cards and rather than cut them apart, I could just cover the whole set on each paper with contact paper. Then he could match them with the loose ones, sort of like a bingo game.

Before Aidan was born and life got so crazy, I used to make games like that to teach the kids their “classical” facts — memorizing dates and Latin vocabulary and the like. It was fun…. so it’s fun to get back to things like that now. A bonus is that Aidan is really interested in the process of making these things. The other kids weren’t really — they were probably influenced by the presence of the cards and scissors since they often made their own little things, but parallel to my endeavours, not really intersecting with them directly.