Phonics: Introducing the Silent ‘E’

If you are a Montessorian, then you know we first teach the alphabet phonetically. Beginning at age 3, the child only learns the sound each letter makes, and is not yet introduced to the names of the letters. That is, not until they have mastered reading and writing short vowel words. Once this happens, it is time to begin introducing the child to words with long vowel sounds. Traditionally, this process is begun with introduction of the Silent E.

Now, before you just jump right into it, your child will need to know what the heck a vowel even is. Before teaching any new words, I first introduce the vowels through a Vowel Sorting Lesson. I use these cards that I created, which you can find HERE on my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

I always first point out that the child might have noticed some of the letters in the moveable alphabet are blue. Teach them that these are the five vowels, and then you tell their names – a, e, i, o, u. At this point, the child most likely already knows the names of these letters, but probably didn’t know they are vowels.

Then you introduce long vowel words, explaining that the vowels in some words sound like their name, such as in “rose”. Sort the picture cards by which long vowel sound is heard in each word, making sure to emphasize the long vowel sound. Once your child has lots of practice simply listening for the long vowel sound, they are ready to begin building their own long vowel words – starting with learning about the Silent E.

To introduce the Silent E, you will need a moveable alphabet and a set of picture cards. These cards have six pairs of words – one a short vowel word, and the other a corresponding silent E word. For example, a picture of “can” and then a “cane”. I have these picture cards that I made available on my TpT store, but I am actually going to link them to you here for FREE! You’ll find the link at the end of the post.

You first have the child build the short vowel word that goes with each picture. Then one by one, move through each short vowel word and show what happens when you add the Silent E.

Let’s look at “cap”. When you add the Silent E to the end of “cap” it makes the vowel before it say its name. Therefore, “cap” becomes “cape”. As you say this, dramatically switch out the picture of cap for the picture of cape, showing that the word has been transformed.

Continue moving through all the short vowel words in this way, showing how the word is transformed with the addition of the Silent E. At the end, read all of the transformed Silent E words to your child!

Chances are, your child will catch on fairly quickly and will begin trying to read Silent E words everywhere they see them. After this I generally will focus on silent E words within each vowel. These can also be called “CVCe” words – consonant vowel consonant with an “e” on the end, such as “game”. First start with “a-e” words, then “i-e”, then “o-e”, then “u-e”, finally mixing words with different vowels together.

I don’t mention “e-e” words because there’s really not many “e-e” words in the English language, and especially not any that your child will be familiar with (have you ever heard your 4 year old say “mete”??).

Without further ado, here are the FREE Silent E cards! Click the red “Download” below to get them for FREE. Or click the pic below to download them for $1.00 from my TeachersPayTeachers store if you so choose to support 🙂

Montessori Silent E Introduction Cards for Use With Moveable Alphabet!

I hope you enjoy adding these to the language area of your classroom (or home)! Happy reading my friends!

xo Miss Claire

DIY Puffy Paint!

Are you ready to have your socks blown off?! Well you better be, because I’m going to share a recipe for the coolest homemade puffy paint that only requires 3 ingredients!

  • shaving cream (the foaming kind!)
  • liquid school glue
  • liquid food colors

And that’s it! You’ll also need some supplemental materials to actually make the paint, such as:

  • Medium sized mixing bowl
  • Spatula or large spoon
  • Measuring cup (I started with 1/2 cup, but ended up using 1 cup of each ingredient)
  • 4 small containers to separate out the paint for each color
  • A small spoon to mix each color

Please see below for a *beautifully stylized* layout of the materials you’ll need:

This recipe is SO SIMPLE. The first thing you have to do is measure out equal parts shaving cream and glue. I used 1 cup of each. Then mix them together until nice and fluffy. It should look like this:

Then you’ll need to carefully divide the white paint among the four containers.

I used 4 oz jars, and 3 drops of color in each jar. The colors turned out perfectly pastel. If you want darker, more vivid colors, simply use more drops of food coloring. I also used a small spoon to mix each color.

And that’s all there is to it! Now you’re ready to start painting!

I made a cute little rainbow, just to test the paints out. I left it overnight to dry, and guess what?! It was STILL puffy!! I’m fact, I hung it up on my son’s bedroom wall and he loves it!

This is actually the art project I sent out to my students this week. I had so much fun with it that I decided to share it with you, as well. Plus just look how beautiful those paints are. It provided the absolute perfect photo-taking-opportunity. I love a good art project photo shoot.

Here is the video I sent to my students with instructions on how to make the paint, in case you’d rather watch how to do it!

I hope you get a chance to try this fun and simple project out. It doesn’t take long, and is a great way to spend a spring rainy day indoors with your little ones!

Enjoy, and have a lovely weekend!

DIY Montessori Cards and Counters + FREE Printable Number Cards

Cards and Counters is an essential Montessori mathematics lesson. And unlike many other Montessori materials, this one is extremely easy (and CHEAP) to DIY at home. It also happens to be an excellent avenue for practicing quantities and their corresponding numerals. I literally made a version of this lesson to share with my students for FREE.

All you will need are my FREE printable numeral cards (see below for link) and 55 pebbles. The reason I say pebbles, is because this version of Cards and Counters was intended to celebrate Earth Day. I had my students first go on a nature walk outside to gather the pebbles, and then use the pebbles as counters. If you want to use another object for the counters, go for it. You can use pretty much anything as a counter (pom poms, beads, beans), just make sure you have 55 total to be able to count out the quantities 1-10.

Here is the video I made for my students:

It is important to note the placement of the counters under each numeral. They are placed in pairs, with the odd counter placed in the middle, below the pair directly above it. The purpose of this is to teach the concepts of “odd” and “even” numbers. Pointing to the quantity below two, you ask the child “does this one have a friend to walk with?” When the child answers “yes”, you say “two is an even number”.

Moving on to three, “does this one have a friend to walk with?” (indicating the last lone counter under three). When the child answers “no”, you point out “three is an odd number”. You move through all the numbers in this way, pointing out which ones are odd and which are even.

Most children pick up on this concept very quickly. The counters simply provide a concrete, visual representation of the abstract concept of odd and even.

Enjoy this free printable! Hopefully this will help aid in the development of your child’s Mathematical Mind at home! Home learning truly has never been more relevant than it is now.