The Daily Message is something that I have incorporated from my years of public school teaching. This is not a Montessori-based practice, but I have had a lot of success in teaching children so many pre-reading and reading skills through this simple and easy part of the day.
There are several different ways to incorporate a Daily Message. I have mine written in letter format for Carter when he wakes up each morning on a small white board easel in our living room. It’s not necessary to always have it written ahead of time. Children need to see us write. Watching us is one of the most valuable ways they learn. It is close to where he eats breakfast, so we easily flow from breakfast to message to our work cycle. Young children like to and need to know what to expect in a given day. Keeping a predictable daily routine is not just for school, it is important for all aspects of their lives. As they are able to predict and prepare for their days, children are more relaxed and adjusted. (More on the schedule to come)
Using the Daily Message, you can teach:
reading from left to right
days of the week
capital and lowercase letters
The message seen here:
Good morning! Today we will dust the furniture. Your great-grandparents will come over for lunch.
I read the message to him, point to each word as I read it. From this, I asked him:
Can you find your name? How do you know that is your name?
Can you find my name? How do you know that is my name?
Can you underline our names?
Can you find an exclamation point?
Can you find the letter p? Can you draw a circle around it?
Can you think of another word that begins with the “p” sound?
Then I asked him if he would like to read the message. The first time, we read it together. I held his hand while he pointed to each word. Then, he did it on his own.
(Notice the tongue of concentration in this picture. I love that!)
As he progresses, I will begin leaving out letters in words and asking him to help me discover the missing letter by sound and I will write it in. Next, I will ask him to write it. Then, I will move to leaving out entire words that he will write in. Ultimately, I would love for him to be able to read the messages himself.