Children work on their phonetic awareness with a variety of materials in a Montessori classroom. The sandpaper letters are the beginning, when a child gets a tactile sense of the letter while practicing the sounds. Sorting objects also helps a child work on their initial sounds. As the child’s proficiency increases they make words with sounds they know using the moveable alphabet. Hearing each sound in a word is the first step in a child’s journey to writing and then to reading.