Every year MTS sends a handful of teachers to the American Montessori Society’s annual conference. Last year Ms. Nancy attended the conference in San Francisco. Over the course of five days, nearly 3,000 Montessori teachers and administrators gathered for workshops, keynotes, and networking.
Among the many workshops available, Ms. Nancy made a point to attend Writers Workshops for more inspiration on different ways to ignite first year students interest in writing. One of the key tools she took away from the workshop was “Space Guys”. Space Guys are a tactile tool to help the child accurately space words when writing sentences.
Space Guys are so simple, yet so valuable to the child. They are a wooden Popsicle stick the child draws a person on. After writing a word, the space guy is placed on the paper by the child to serve as a visual aid. This place value helps the child to accurately write the next word of their sentence.
Ms. Nancy’s aim in introducing Space Guys to her first year, lower-elementary students is to serve as a framework for all future writing by helping the child to do it themselves. This handy tool is kept in the child’s cubby so it can be used over and over again until the child no longer needs a visual aid to correctly space words when writing a sentence.