Can 3D-printing help kids learn how to write?

By Fred
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Every day, we see great things coming from the 3DS Fablab, this time we decided to share with you this story, simple in terms of technology but innovative in terms of usage. Working with a Montessori school having innovative education methods it illustrates how 3DEXPERIENCE can contribute in places we would never think about! The tool has been originally designed by Maria Montessori, with the Italian language in mind, so without the difficult French phonemes like the “nasals”. This French specificity is actually one reason for explaining the delay of “explosion into writing” in the French Montessori schools compared to the world average. Following a recent study, the French Montessori Association now recommends the schools to enrich the alphabets with digraphs. As the kids start by writing the sounds (orthography comes later), it is important that they pick only one element for each sound.

3D printed letters

Thanks to these new digrams, there are no more obstacles standing between the children and the messages they are attempting to write. They can write everything and are no longer blocked by complex sounds (“phonemes“) in french such as “ou”, “oi”, “on”, “an”, etc…

Christophe created 3D models of solid digraphs (combinations of 2 letters) so they can improve their tools for writing learning. The digraphs in French are “an”, “ai”, “on”, “ch”, “gn”, etc. Handcrafting of all these digraphs would be very time consuming and inelegant, even if the result is not strictly identical to their existing letters (style, color, thickness). Watch how Christophe used 3D printing and 3DEXPERIENCE to come up with a creative solution:

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The Montessori school is now using this a 3D-printed set of solid letters that the kids use to compose words and sentences. M. Mazzantini, Director of Ecole Montessori Internationale – Jardin du Luxembourg shared her feedback :

Thank you for this wonderful gift that allows the children to take further steps towards writing. It facilitates their autonomy and helps them to master their writting skills at a relatively early age (4, 4 and a half)”.

Hope you will enjoy the story, learning how to write with 3D-printing, a joint project with a Paris-based Montessori school (Ecole Montessori Internationale – Jardin du Luxembourg). You can download 3D letters & digrams.

Congrats Christophe for this great idea ! If you want to hear more about the 3DS FabLab, join the MadeIn3D Community.




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