Intro to Words App Guide

October 07, 2015

Greetings from Montessorium!

First of all, we’d like to thank you for giving Intro to Words a try. We’ve so enjoyed putting it together, and are excited it’s now in your hands.

In this guide, we’d like to take a more in-depth look at how the exercises in Intro to Words relate to the Montessori classroom, how each activity is organized, as well as provide a few tips for activities beyond the app.

We’d also like to thank our wonderful illustrators, Marloes de Vries, Zeptonn, and Mike Lowery. They inspire creativity and delight with their whimsical representations of phonetic and phonogram objects. We challenged them to illustrate things like ‘trash’ and ‘lid’, and wow did they deliver!

We sincerely hope you enjoy Intro to Words. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch through an email, tweet, or Facebook message. We always look forward to hearing from you!

All the best,

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Bobby and June

Intro to Words, by Montessorium

Intro to Words combines activities and philosophies from the Montessori classroom that will help provide the foundations for a life-long love of reading and writing. The language area of the Montessori classroom is an exciting place! With materials such as the Sandpaper Letters and Three Part Cards, a child is quickly engaged and interested in the world of letters, including the foundations of reading and writing.

Phonetics

All of the words in the phonetic section of Intro to Words have been carefully selected so that they are spelled precisely the way they sound, using the most common pronunciation of each letter. Map, red, and dot are just a few examples of the words you will spell!

So let’s get started! The voiceover states, “Can you help me find all of the sounds in ‘ham’?

Progression: Voiceover guides by first saying the name of the object, followed by all of the individual letter sounds that make up that word. After, isolating the sounds, it’s the child’s turn to drag the letters down from the top bar to create the word. A warm ‘ding’ prompts that the right letter has been chosen and popped into place. After 3 incorrect tries, the correct letter at the top of the screen pulses slightly, giving just enough of a hint as to what should come next.

If you need help figuring out which letter to choose, tap on the empty spot you’re trying to fill. The voice over repeats the sound that belongs there, providing a gentle reminder. Or tap on the illustration, and hear the whole word repeated as well!

This is especially useful if you or your child has stepped away from the app for a moment, and need help remembering what comes next.

Phonograms

The phonogram activity is set-up in exactly the same way as the phonetics, but adds an additional challenge of spelling words with phonograms. A phonogram is a letter or combination of letters that represent a sound. A few examples from Intro to Words, with the phonograms underlined, are trash, broom, and pie.

Storyboard

“Let’s write a story!” What a great invitation to begin the Storyboard activity. This exercise provides the space (an open storyboard), the illustrations, and letters and phonograms to create your own masterpiece. What will your child or student write?

Alphabet Spy

Three illustrations are introduced, then it’s up to us to choose the correct object based on the voice over’s prompt. For example, Which object starts with ‘m’? Tap on the correct object, and it slides into the tray at the bottom of the screen. No worries if you don’t get it right the first time. Just tap on any object to get a reminder of what it’s called, and the sound it starts with!

Beyond the App

Would you like to continue the work started in Intro to Words? We have a few ideas for activities you and your child can incorporate in daily life to practice reading and writing!

  1. The illustrations in Intro to Words are inspiring! Perhaps choose 3-5 objects you and your child really love, and draw them, sculpt them, or paint them together! After that, write a label together, sounding out each letter, or write a short story about the object.
  2. Let your child see you write, whether it’s a grocery list or a diary entry. They emulate you, so the more you write with a pencil or pen instead of a keyboard, the more they might like to give it a try as well. As your child becomes more comfortable with the phonetics and phonograms in Intro to Words, they can help sound out or write many words on your grocery list, such as milk, corn, or bun.
  3. Let’s face it, I-Spy never really gets old, even for grown-ups! Continue the Alphabet Spy game when walking to school, in the car, or when out on a walk! Encourage your child to do the spying, giving them a chance to pair letter sounds with real-life objects.

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