Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Montessori Inspired Preschool Mirror Writing

About six weeks ago, Henry's preschool teachers expressed some concern about his writing and fine motor skills. He goes to a non-Montessori preschool so their concern was not at all unexpected. While Montessori schools focus on reading and writing with a movable alphabet at first, traditional schools are more concerned with pencil grip and writing skills. 

I think it's kind of silly, but since we aren't sending him to a Montessori school {sadly} I felt like it was important to honor their request to work with him on writing at home. If I was going to do that, I wanted to do it in the most Montessori way I could. 

Montessori, fine motor, writing, Reggio, Preschool

I knew I had to create something to entice Henry to participate. I wasn't going to force him or do silly worksheets. Part of the issue is Henry shows almost no interest in writing on his own. Right now, he fills his time with other interests. 

So I created mirror writing! And it's worked! Here the tray includes a mirror (ours is from a craft store), glass beads, sandpaper letter, and dry erase marker. 

I placed this "invitation" on his table for him to ask about. Then, I presented it. 


First, I traced the sandpaper letter (something Henry is familiar with) and said the letter sound. I asked Henry to trace the letter on his own. I had him repeat this portion of the work until he was slowly, carefully and correctly using the letter. 


Then, I wrote the letter on the mirror saying the sound of the letter. I then used the glass beads to make the letter in the same order that it was traced. I liked the glass beads for this because this motion simulates the same fine motor skills and pincher grip he needs to hold the writing utensil. Then, Henry placed the beads. 


Once Henry placed the beads, and removed them again. I had him erase the letter I wrote and write his own. If he had trouble, I encouraged him to retrace the sandpaper letter. He could then write the letter and place beads, or just write the letter over and over again. 


This has been a huge hit! After my initial presentation, I placed it on Henry's shelf to work with at his pace. We've been focusing on the letters in his name and he has made great strides. He's started to show a lot more interest in writing and is holding his pencil correctly more often.

This easy writing extension is perfect for anyone child showing interest in writing. The mirror is fun and inviting. And clean up is easy! Do you have creative ways to encourage preschoolers to write?

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