Dr. Montessori says there is a dual path to reading and writing. It involves, first, the ability of the child to express himself via vocabulary development and visual discrimination and, secondly, the education of the hand to enable them to write letters and words purposefully.
Montessori has a unique approach to learning to read and write. Montessori teachers observe the child and wait for the right opportunity when child is interested in learning sounds. In Montessori classroom there is a very special material called sandpaper letters that is used to introduce letter sounds. The focus is on the sound a letter makes rather than the name of the letter. The child uses all his senses to learn the letter sound. For ex. child sees the shape of the letter sound, touches the shape of the letter while tracing it and says sound that the letter makes. This whole experience helps the child learn the letter sound effectively. Once the child has learnt all the letter sounds, he uses movable alphabet to make words before he learns how to write them.
In order to write, the child needs to have developed strong fine motor skills. Nearly all the exercises in Practical Life area strengthens the pincer grip necessary for controlled writing. Metal Insets work helps the child practice holding the pencil by tracing the shapes and filing them in. Repetition of this work helps the child with writing words and numbers.