Introducing metal inset work in the literacy area

We are thrilled yet again to introduce more work (and play) to the children. We’ve decided to acquire some pieces of equipment from the Montessori preschool curriculum, because we continue to receive questions about literacy development in our pre-K room from parents. Our teachers are very interested in working with this lens and it is an easy fit for their general educational philosophy.

The Montessori materials are a really strong stimulus and there can be little confusion about their purpose. However, the so-called “Metal Insets” might be a little less obvious. They really are to develop the child’s hand and visual motor integration skills in preparation for writing. The children love using them, and as with anything in our curriculum we will demonstrate to any child who is interested, but it is never forced nor is it even encouraged – the curriculum is child led and we follow the interests of the children in the room.

​A secondary goal is of course art and children’s aesthetic understandings. But please don’t push them — they will discover so much through their use of the equipment and our role modeling, demonstrations and examples. Initially, their lines are all crooked, but in the methods we follow, they are inspired to perfect their movements so that their work improves over time.

Retha van Wyk

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