What the Sandpaper Letters Taught me
Hubbard, Margaret E.
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The purpose of this study was to implement both intensive, oral phonological activities and motor activities to help children who are not retaining sound/letter associations using the Sandpaper Letters. This study took place at a private Montessori school in an upper Midwest state. The researcher worked with 14 students in a Children’s House Montessori classroom who showed low sound/letter recognition through a preliminary assessment instrument. Qualitative data was collected using observations and reflections from the lead Montessori teacher. Quantitative data from the use of intervention tools were recorded using frequency charts. Children were assessed at the beginning of the study, biweekly and at the end of the study to record the progress of letter/sound knowledge. The children participated in intensive, oral phonological activities in a small group setting for approximately 7-10 minutes and with a frequency of up to four days a week. It is the researcher's opinion that the positive outcomes are largely attributable to the small group intervention. Motor activities were added to the classroom such as a standing chalk board, sand tray and a Multisensory Instruction Memory Board. Results from the assessment tool showed a distinct increase in sound/ letter recognition (an average increase of 40%). The efficacy of the other tools appears to be harder to identify except for the standing chalkboard, which was very popular with the children. Finally, the action research project proved to be a formative process for the researcher as they realized the power of phonemic awareness games and oral language lessons as preparation for learning letters/symbols.
Small Group Lessons
Standing Chalk Board
multisensory instruction memory board