264 THE MONTESSORI METHOD
The deficients, therefore, did not always follow the design exactly with either the finger or the stick. The didactic material did not offer any control in the work, or rather it offered only the uncertain control of the child's glance, which could, to be sure, see if the finger continued upon the sign, or not. I now thought that in order to have the pupil follow the movements more exactly, and to guide the execution more directly, I should need to prepare letter forms so indented, as to represent a furrow within which the wooden stick might run. I made the designs for this material, but the work being too expensive I was not able to carry out my plan.
After having experimented largely with this method, I spoke of it very fully to the teachers in my classes in didactic methods at the State Orthophrenic School. These lectures were printed, and I give below the words which, though they were placed in the hands of more than 200 elementary teachers, did not draw from them a single helpful idea. Professor Ferreri * in an article speaks with amazement of this fact.f
" At this point we present the cards bearing the vowels painted in red. The child sees irregular figures painted in red. We give him the vowels in wood, painted red, and have him superimpose these upon the letters painted on the card. We have him touch the wooden vowels in the fashion of writing, and give him the name of each
* G. Ferreri — Per l'insegnamento della scrittura (Sistema della Dott M. Montessori) Bollettino dell' Associazione Romana per la cura medico — pedigogica dei fanciulli anormali e deficienti poveri, anno 1, n. 4, ottobre 1907. Roma Tipografia delle Terme Diocleziane.
f Riassunto delle lezion di didattica, della dott. Montessori anno 1900} Stab. lit. Romano, via Frattina 62, Disp. 6a, pag. 46: " Let-tura e Scrittura simultanee."