Object Box – SMAT

The knowledge of an Object Box is another great gift given to us by Ms. Nona [Foundations Montessori Academy of Frisco].  These are a fun way to teach children to recognize letters by the sound they make.  First, we trace each letter with our pointer finger saying the sound the letter makes. Second, we trace them with two fingers (pointer and middle), saying the sound again.  Last, we trace them with an object that resembles a pencil, repeating the sound a third time.  I’ve found a chopstick to be a great “pretend” pencil.  It’s very important to trace the letter like you would write it, because this is the first step towards learning to write the letters.  Here’s JR demonstrating how to trace the letter with the “pretend” pencil.

JR has been practicing this work for months now.  The newness has worn off and he goes a little A.D.D. on me.  Today I kept a “scoreboard” showing how many he got right and it was amazing how accurate and fast he was.  I’m always inventing new ways to keep things interesting. One day the “pretend” pencil magically transformed into a magic wand that could find the correct letter when I made the sound.  Whatever works for the day…

I found most of these objects at Hobby Lobby and Michael’s.  Look in the scrapbooking, beads, and wood sections.  The mat is felt and I used glitter fabric paint just like Ms. Nona to give the letters texture when the child traces them.

The proud student with his finished work and scoreboard. :)

PostScript (1.12.11):  I discovered a new way to organize the Object Boxes.  It includes a worksheet that will help JR develop his writing skills.  Did you know, most kids can write and spell before they can read?  We tried it out for the first time today and JR really liked it.  Sometimes, adding something new, makes the work exciting again and really stretches the work’s longevity.


Here’s the worksheet in case you are interested.

starting the day right…

One of the boys’ favorite breakfasts is what I call “Oatmeal Bar.”  They love it because they get to top it however they want and that’s FUN!  Today I only had brown sugar, milk and blueberries…but sometimes I’ll add other choices of fresh or dried fruits.  I’ve been meaning to try rolled barley since a friend of mine suggested it (hi Liz!).  It has twice the protein and almost 100% more dietary fiber than rolled oats, but I have to finish the gi-normous can of oats before I can venture over to the barley side.  Also, you can’t find rolled barley at my Market Street which creates a special trip to Sprouts or Whole Foods.  Not so fun, but probably worth it. ;)  I’ll let you guys know whenever I finally do it.