The Sandpaper Letters

The sandpaper letters are one of the key materials found in the language area of the classroom. They are the letters of the alphabet (lower case script) cut out and each mounted on a separate piece of wood. The consonants are mounted on blue wood and the vowels on pink.

The direct purpose of the sandpaper letters is to teach the child the sounds of the alphabet by means of muscular and visual memory. The child is encouraged to trace the symbol over and over again until the shape of the letter becomes a part of the child’s muscle memory. The indirect purposes of the sandpaper letters are preparation for reading and writing.

The sandpaper letters are an exciting and important material for the children to discover. They love thinking of new words for specific sounds. Once the child has mastered all 26 sounds they begin to write short phonetic words and reading quickly follows.

sandpaper letter

Material: The Number Rods and one set of small wooden cards with printed symbols from 1-10.

Purpose: To associate the written symbol with the right quantity and to be able to build rods and/or numbers 1-10. Building up the different combinations to 10 gives an indirect preparation for addition. The taking away of rods gives the impression of subtraction.

In the first presentation, we build the rods from 1-10 in the same shape as the Red Rods and we also count each rod. In presentation number two, we let the child take the box with numbers/symbols and place them in order in front of the child. Then, we show a number and let the child chose the right rod from the shelf. In the extensions, we work with adding rods to each other by connecting them to make 10 and by taking away, we make 1.