Observe a child and watch for their sensitive period for language, if you see a child show an interest ask the child whether they would like to see something …and offer the sand paper letters.
Choose letters of the child’s name, a Montessori teacher teaches letters phonetically, if the child’s name is not phonetic I would say “in your name it sounds like “_” (see post)
You can choose letters that can then be easily made into 3 letter words and you may find a child ready to read will subconsciously make the leap.
For example if you chose “c” “a” “t” and give the 3 period lesson.
Do not mention “cat”.
Instead of choosing three new letters, you can keep a letter the child is familiar with and replace two she/he knows with two new ones this builds confidence and enthusiasm.
Continue on until you have covered the alphabet in 3 period lessons.
Extensions: A child’s choice.
1) While, or just after, you are giving 3 period lessons on the alphabet, you can encourage the child to trace the letters in a book (dot – dot previously prepared by you) I like each child to have their own writing exercise book as they can monitor their own progress and you have an effective record. A child loves to look back at their own work and remark on how much they have improved!
2) On tracing paper with the appropriate letter underneath, when a child peels off the tracing paper they see the magic of their writing!
3) Trace the letters in a box of sand.
4) Design an inset. (pencil control)