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A quick question everyone.....I am not Montessori trained but I am working with someone who is and she has been showing me some of the resources that promote letter formation and early writing. (I know I could goggle or read up but I though I would ask you peeps first)

..I was wondering if anyone else uses these, I am unsure of the actual name of the resource but basically they are like stencils but they must be used in a specific way so as to teach children to start at a point and learn the 'flow' of writing, letter formation.....also there is another resource that is a wooden box of colour slides and this piece of equipment must be handled in a certain way and adult directed, the children are not allowed to 'play' with this at all...it seems really difficult for nursery children.....any Montessori experts out there that would like to help me ? I am trying to embrace this but just don't get it at the moment probably because I haven't been Montessori trained?

It is not a Montessori nursery by the way, I think she wants to use elements of her training within the setting, I am all for using a bit of this and a bit of that but I do need to understand it first?


Thank you

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not any help I#m afraid..

......all I know is our local monti will not work with us - even though we share children!

and I'm loath to send info across to them, whcih they could use as evidence of working in partnership when they send nothing to us!!!!!!!!



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I am no montessori expert but we do have quite a few of their resources in our preschool. They are beautifully made (but very expensive!) but we don't use them 'strictly' in the montessori fashion!


We have three of their colour boxes and we use them for colour recogniition, matching, sorting etc etc


The children are also allowed to self select. Strangely the children treat the montessori equipment with great respect and we are not sure why! The Pink Tower is a particular favourite and children treasure it!


Not sure about the stencils you mention, we have the montessori sandpaper letters/numbers and children feel the shape/formation of letters and numbers


We also have the broad stairs and four sets of knobbed cylinders and the children have free access to them all.


Here is a link to the Montessori method of using the colours


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Thanks for the links Geraldine......I thought we had a few Montessori peeps, but nevermind....the links are really informative.. :oxD:(

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Hi Shirel,


I'm montessori trained although the school I now work in is not montessori.


I have some of the equipment and have just put an order in for some other bits. Expensive but lovely.


The montessori material is nearly all self correcting and the idea is that once it has been presented to the children, they have access to it at any time. Lots of the activities are carried out at the table and, in theory, quietly.

Because it is self correcting the children learn themselves. They have lots of practical life activities, dressing frames, locks and keys, bottles and lids, shoe cleaning, pouring activities, very easy to set up yourself.

Not sure what the stencils are though, as we have sandpaper letters and numbers.

I've just ordered the colour box and Geraldine's link shows how it works.


A really good book which shows some of the equipment and how it works is Montessori Play & Learn - by Lesley Britton


Oh it isn't the metal insets for design you're talking about is it? They really are a definate must if you can.


Sorry I could write pages on this, hope it helps,



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Hi Shirel


I am Montessori trained and work in a Montessori setting. The item you are describing are definitely the Insets for Design and can be obtained from most Montessori suppliers. I often purchase materials from Absorbent Minds, Artful Dodgers and sometimes (when feeling rich) Nienhuis. Google any of these names and you will find them in the Language section. They should be used in conjunction with special inset paper which is exactly square and fits the frame of the inset, also supplied by the above. Please feel free to PM me direct and I will let you have my phone number so that I can explain it to you. They are brilliant and can be used in infinite ways.


The colour tablets are also beautiful materials. There are four different boxes. These can be found in the Sensorial section on the above websites. Again, many uses and extensions.


I will happily explain Montessori materials to you till the cows come home!!!


Lesley :o

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