Rock picking is such a fun activity for young children that I incorporated some rock picking into our do-a-dot work this month. I have two free printables to go with it … r for rock and q for quartzite do-a-dot phonics printables that work well for different ages of young children.
Montessori-Inspired Printables at Living Montessori Now
My daughter, Christina (a former Montessori child), and I are partnering to bring you a series of Montessori-inspired printables. The printables are typically themed and use a number of Montessori principles (although you don’t need to be a Montessori teacher or homeschooler to use them):
- They use isolation of quality.
- They use photographs or realistic images to emphasize reality. Whenever I can, I’ll tell you the specific name of the object or animal featured on the credits page. This month’s do-a-dot printables use the same image … “r” for rock and “q” for quartzite. The image is of red quartzite.
- They typically use traditional Montessori colors such as red for consonants and blue for vowels.
- They use lowercase letters, which are what we introduce letter sounds with in Montessori education. (Children tend to pick up the uppercase letters without being introduced if they’re introduced to the lowercase letter sounds.)
- They often feature themed printable versions of Montessori materials.
Free Rock and Quartzite Do-a-Dot Phonics Printables
To download the rock and quartzite do-a-dot phonics printables, click here and then click on the file image in the upper right corner of the PDF to save to your computer (just choose where you want it saved).
Montessori-Inspired Activities Using the Rock and Quartzite Do-a-Dot Printables
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I designed the do-a-dot printables to go well with landscape rocks. There are often some red quartzite rocks included, so your child can collect a variety of landscape rocks to use with either printable.
Here are my two toddler grandchildren: Sophia at 19 months and Caleb at 16 months. They’re cousins and have lots of fun together! They were adorable collecting rocks. Of course, we had lots of adult supervision. We actually had 3 adults here: my daughter, Christina, her husband, Tom, and me! I like to be extra safe when toddlers are around small objects that are choking hazards!
Quartzite Letter Q Do-a-Dot Tray with Quartzite Transfer
This is just one example of how you can use the do-a-dot printable. There are many ways to use our do-a-dot printables. Scroll down to see examples from previous posts. Just choose an activity that’s appropriate for your child’s age and skill level.
You could have a variety of transfer activities with the do-a-dot printable. Or you could have a totally different type of do-a-dot activity. See ideas below. Again, just choose what is best for your child’s skill level and interests.
You could add a tracing activity to the printable. If you laminate your printable, you can use an erasable crayon like the Melissa & Doug Learning Mat Crayons or Crayola Erasable Crayons. If your page isn’t laminated, you could add a pencil or colored pencil. I often do that. For a 2-year-old or other young preschooler who’s not ready to write letters, you can just leave off the crayon or pencil.
Quartzite Movable Alphabet Word Building, Handwriting Practice, and Fine-Motor Work
This do-a-dot printable can be used in a variety of ways, depending on the age and ability of the child.
If you want to know how to introduce the /q/ sound, check out my post on how to teach letter sounds using Montessori principles.
For a child who’s ready for (or already using) the movable alphabet, you could have the child build the words. My 5-year-old granddaughter, Zoey, likes to use the movable alphabet to build words. (We use the small movable alphabet. I have the movable alphabet from Alison’s Montessori, which I love. You can also get a movable alphabet from Amazon or make your own.)
First, we read about the sedimentary sandstone becoming metamorphic quartzite rock through heat and pressure. Then Zoey built the word “quartzite.” We’ve discussed “q” and “u” together making the /q/ sound. Some Montessorians prefer to teach “q” and “u” together as a phonogram, but I’ve never had problems with children learning the letter “q” as the /q/ sound. I just explain later that “q” and “u” together make the /q/ sound.
Zoey also traced the word with red and blue colored pencils.
After that, Zoey used the toast tong to select the red quartzite rocks and transfer them to the dots on the letter q. It was a bit like the game Operation! Even though she’s been able to use toast tongs for a long time, sorting rocks added a new element. I love the look of satisfaction on Zoey’s face when she had completed her work!
Younger children might like to use rocks of any kind to place on the “r” while focusing on /r/ for rock. A transfer tool is optional.
Note: I don’t leave small objects like these out for my toddler grandchildren, and I don’t recommend that small objects be available to toddlers without direct and constant supervision. Even if your toddler doesn’t normally put things in his or her mouth, it just isn’t worth the risk.
More Rocks and Minerals Resources
- Free Rocks and Minerals Printables and Montessori-Inspired Rocks and Minerals Activities
- Simple Excavation Sensory Tubs
- Rocks and Minerals Unit Study
- Story Stones – Farm Animal Families Treasure Basket
- Rocks and Minerals/Geology Unit Study Pinterest Board
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Free Do-a-Dot Printables and Ideas for Using Them
I love the versatility of do-a-dot printables! If you’re doing a month-long theme, you could easily change out the type of do-a-dot activity weekly to add interest. Here are four ideas of hands-on activities for any of our do-a-dot printables from my frog do-a-dot printable post (see post for details and materials used).
Just click on an image to go to the post with the related free printable!
Note: I’ve arranged the following gallery in alphabetical order, although some posts have two do-a-dot printables (and two different letters). Also, I don’t introduce letters in alphabetical order. You can find out the order in which I introduce letter sounds here. I deviate from that order for our unit studies, though, and focus on a letter that’s simply related to our unit. That’s in addition to our other letter work.
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