Montessori Reading Series Materials At Home

Montessori Reading Series Materials for those who may not be familiar are Pink Series (3 letter cvc phonetic words), Lilac Series (high frequency sight words), Blue Series (mainly 4 letter words with consonant blends still mostly phonetic). 
Our manual does include a series of high frequency digraphs at the beginning of Blue Series. Some may find it confusing because these digraphs appear again in Green Series along with other phonograms later on. 
We found this invaluable to us to that they included high frequency digraphs like "th" "sh" and "ch" among others, in that they helped Xander to progress in reading other material far more quickly than if these high frequency digraphs had been withheld until Green Series. 
Green Series (non-phonetic consonant vowel combinations or phonograms).

There is an amazing amount of lesson information out there, and complete information about how the series materials work. I will chat about how we use them, and what has worked for us at home.

We spent a lot of time with Pink Series because we loved the material, and we started to use these readers shortly into the series. Xander enjoyed the Pink series.  Between these materials and great readers, he developed great confidence in reading and pink series spelling.  We did not move on quickly. We also started getting into some consonant Blue Series blend work with our green sandpaper letter consonant blend cards. We also used many materials that were not Montessori, in terms of games and other developmental products, software, and computer games that fit well with our materials. I wish the iPad were available during Xander's pink series, because it has amazing apps that Ava is taking full advantage of now.

When we started Pink Series I was unsure of what I could change or add. There are so many amazing print material makers out there now, and many that are free or inexpensive. Thinking back to Pink Series for Xander I wish I had combined materials, and created more but, I have done so for Ava. 

Spelling for Pink series went very quickly for Xander, but he was enjoying it so much that we did not move quickly we stayed and enjoyed.

Blue series here's where we changed things up a bit. I decided to create the majority of our Blue Series materials, and added in lots of print and free materials.

In terms of reading Xander could read the Blue series very quickly, almost right away and he was wanting to read much more complicated books. Xander has an incredible vocabulary, and at this point he started to feel a bit discouraged that he could not pick up any book and read it.                                So shortly after starting Blue series we started Green series, and some word study work. Xander's reading took off once we added in Green series materials. We bounced back and forth and worked on both simultaneously in terms of reading. I am not recommending this just simply saying that this worked amazingly well for us.

So here we are we are working with Blue series at this point in terms of spelling, vocabulary development, and to help develop greater fluency in reading and writing skills. Xander can read so well, and fluency in coming along. The Blue series materials from Montessori Research & Development Manual are vast. We are still working through all of the materials.

Xander LOVES the moveable alphabet, but also records everything in his language journal.
I must say that when we started the Blue series I underestimated the impact on reading fluency that it has had. 

We start many of our spelling lessons with the matching sets, words to pictures. Then we take away the words, and he spells the beginning blend and then completes the word. He makes the choice as to which colour he wishes to write with. Often choosing to write the blend in black (typically written in red). He uses the word cards to check his work. Then he records his work in his journal. If we are using photos from our moveable alphabet sets,  I write the words on a slip for him to check his work after completion.

This work is wonderful because he naturally made connections (as with Pink series) with rhyming words, and word families. 

The other opportunity we take with our series materials is writing practice, and lots of it. The Blue series contains reading booklets, single word and single sentence. After reading a booklet he will choose a sentence from the booklet to write, or write out as many blends from the booklet as he can identify. We start every language series lesson with a small writing lesson. I hand write a series of letters, and sometimes use a black marker to define the starting point, and then he traces the letters and writes them on his own. We also play a little game "How many letters can you make from the letter O".  I write a series of lowercase o's and Xander adds the necessary strokes to form letters. He was so astounded to see how many letters can be made from a simple "o"!
I like hand writing these lessons in his language journal.  He can see the exact spacing, letter size and formation he will be using to write (in print) as we move forward into elementary.  I found writing practice (again speaking for Xander only) difficult because he sometimes had a hard time translating the writing and scale in lesson books sheets etc. to the actual writing and spacing required for basic lined journal paper. He needed to see handwritten text the way he would be using it on the paper he was using hope that makes sense.

So essentially we are using our series materials for fluency, spelling, and writing practice at this point.

We started with a basic red & blue alphabet from here. Miss Ava will be moving into moveable alphabet use so I purchased a pink alphabet. I also purchased our black one here. I bought two extra boxes here. I exchanged the blue vowels out from our red set and placed them in the pink alphabet.  I painted the pink vowels red with craft paint to create a solid red set to go with our black set.

I thought about the alphabets for a long while, and I as much as I would have loved a blue and green one also it was not really economical in terms of $$ or space. I have all our things shipped to a US shipping depot to a border close by to save big$$ in shipping.

I think the painted pink letters look pretty great!!

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  1. I love this post! Spelling for Pink Series for my son was also a breeze :) The same as the Blue Series, my son can easily read them as well. I'm now on the Green Series and plan to do spelling with Blue Series as well using moveable alphabet. It really boils down to what's working with your little ones or not.

  2. You are so right!! I love that we have this flexibility to use materials to suit our needs:))

  3. Thanks so much for sharing and explaining. We are starting Montessori at home for the first time this year and your posts have been a great resource! My son is almost 6 and we are starting elementary.

    1. Thanks Lauren:)) I hope you have a wonderful journey...enjoy!!


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