Muriel Dwyer’s booklet on reading and writing part 1

Am reading the above book and am enjoying it.

First, she talks about exposing the very young child to

  • ALL 40 sounds of the English language WITHOUT reference to the written word, through I-spy or other games and reading.  We need to help them become aware of beginning sounds, middle sounds, end sounds of words containing 3 sounds and not 3 letters (eg ch-ur-ch).  Gosh, that just makes so much sense!
  • as wide a vocabulary as possible, again through reading, talking, singing and the like.

Only after the child can “hear” the sounds do you introduce the sandpaper letters.  At this stage, she says you are not teaching the child the sounds of the letters – he already knows them!

Next, she introduces the Moveable Alphabet – by helping the child gain familiarity with the placement of the letters – and thereafter, she says to encourage and help the child to think of a word, break it up into its component sounds, take out the relevant letters from the box and place them in order on his mat.  Spelling errors must NOT be corrected at this stage.  It is purely exploratory, at this point of time.  Success at this stage depends wholly on the preparation detailed above.

Somehow I’ve always been a little anxious about “teaching” reading but this method feels so natural to me.  It’s a pity only AMI schools use it.  I liked the pink-blue-green scheme but this method just “clicks”….

Another thing Muriel Dwyer keeps mentioning is to keep the activities lively.  Interesting to note that.  So often, you hear about schools where the directress is so detached the work looks almost unappealing.  I’m grateful for my own training. My trainer was really engaging (i.e. when she was “presenting” to the “child”) and that has really helped in what I do.

I doubt I’m doing Muriel Dwyer’s book justice and would highly recommend purchasing the inexpensive tome from NAMTA.

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1 Response to “Muriel Dwyer’s booklet on reading and writing part 1”


  1. 1 peaceful guide October 1, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    I can attest to the power and magic of this method… My 3.5 year old students are reading beautifully thanks to this language process, and it comes so easily and naturally to them.


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