Monster Mapping and the Montessori Method.
Child centred learning, with educators as 'guides' (ConDUCKtors)
‘What struck me most about the Montessori classroom was that the level of stimulus was mind-blowing. It’s an environment that really allows children to grow. Teachers talk to children like equals, and the child dictates the pace of what they do day-to-day. Aurelia has developed a very firm sense of who she is. She’s confident talking to adults and is very good at walking into a new environment and working out what she wants to explore. Montessori helped her learn constantly and absorb so much.’
Sharon Kemanes from South London, mum to Aurelia, five
For some reason, many of the parents and even teachers that I talk to, say that we shouldn't start teaching children to read and spell 'too early' as if it is something that will be difficult, a 'chore, or stifle their love of books. That tells me that they have never seen children Monster Mapping®! They may also not realise that learning to read and spell, when a 'speech to print' approach is taken, is exciting to children who are natural problem solvers. We are starting from what they know (how to speak) and learning how to 'talk on paper'.
As long as a child is exposed to some language in the early years he will almost always learn to speak, naturally.
But the same can not be said for writing or reading; we have to teach these skills. We can do this using an approach that is based on the science of learning, as well as the science of reading (SoR) without making it a laborious or emotionally draining process. In a way, it is like teaching them a second language, and doing so very much through play, and using authentic (real) books and stories. While they will independently read scaffolded 'code mapped' (decodable) readers at their Code Level, very early on in the learning journey, the focus is always on meaning, and on further developing oral language skills. We want their experiences to excite them about the world around them, and to never be limited by the often limiting imaginations of others!
"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution." Albert Einstein
They go through 3 Phases:
1/ Phonemic Awareness
2/ Mapping of Phonemes to Graphemes
with fluency and comprehension, expanding vocabulary knowledge and exploring 'how words work' through authentic texts
(reading and writing)
3/ Self-teaching (now Orthographic Mapping)
As with the Montessori Method, we take a 'spelling to reading' approach. Children learn to build words (encoding) and write them with a focus on using phonemic awareness, and mapping the phonemes to graphemes. A multi-sensory approach is taken, with the conDUCKtors talking a 'less teaching, more learning' approach. Although many might think that the children are not being taught using a systematic approach this could not be further from the reality of an SSP classroom, regardless of age! Children move through a scaffolded, skills acquisition process, and learn at their own pace. They become incredibly independent and self-confident, intrinsically motivate to move through the 'levels' and express their thoughts on paper, and read texts of their choice for pleasure earlier than most could imagine. And there is not a worksheet in sight! Activities are designed to challenge every child and to be meaningful. Our goal is that children do not simply learn how to read and spell, but that this is something magical to them; and they read for pleasure, for life!
Children learn to form letters, and start with pre-cursive (with lead-outs) so that they can write neatly and consistently, without needing to regularly take the pencil off the paper; but the size and slant is personal to the child. We use letter and number formation phrases to ensure that the direction becomes a habit. Children learn the Monster Moves, when learning the 44 phonemes, and use 'Duck Hands' to segment sounds; whole-body learning! Monster Mapping® often enables children to reach the stage of 'self-teaching' before they even start school. It is a break-through in teaching children to read and spell that child-centred early years educators around the world are LOVING, because of how children light up when learning; we are educating hearts and minds.
Interested in introducing your children to the Speech Sound Pics (SSP) Approach?
While hard copy resources are limited (COVID-1) we suggest the Membership
Questions? Contact Miss Emma directly.