Materials Spotlight: Language Pink Boxes
What is the Pink Series?
In the Montessori classroom, the short phonetic series, or the pink series as it is commonly referred to, is the starting point for many children as they embark on the task of learning to read. Pink series words are made up of three letters, a consonant, a vowel, and another consonant (c_v_c). Every single vowel in this case is a short sounding vowel such as "a" in "bat." Children may begin using the Movable Alphabet to phonetically sound out these words prior to them being able to read them as a whole.
What are the Pink Boxes within the Pink Series?
The pink boxes are made up of 6-8 tiny objects that represent 3 letter phonetic words. Children may begin working with the Pink Boxes after they have spent time perfecting their word building skills with the Movable Alphabet. These boxes provide a built-in control of error. If the child mismatches any picture, they'll be left at the end of the work with a label that doesn't match the remaining image, and will know to search for their own mistake.
What is the purpose of the Pink Boxes?
This work is designed to allow the child to blend sounds together to create words. Boxes are sorted so that the objects in each box isolate a specific vowel sound. This traditional Montessori work is the stepping stone for beginning reading.
Are there any extensions for this work?
Of course! Once the child is fluently reading each box they may begin practicing their handwriting. Most often reading words can come long before a child is able to successfully write a word. They may practice using a sand tray, chalk board or a white board.
What comes next for the emergent reader?
Next, the child will move on to pink booklets and word lists. These help create speed and accuracy for the child when reading. This is in preparation for reading short vowel books.