Dwyer Phonogram Folders now available!
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Phonogram Spelling Folders

$189.95 USD

Teach spelling with this classic Montessori material. Inspired by Montessori trainer Muriel Dwyer, these booklets take a logical and sequential approach to helping beginning readers learn about the typical variations in English spelling. 

Start by inviting the child to choose one folder. Then, take out all of the cards in the folder and explain, "Did you know that there are many ways to make the 'ee' sound?" Then show them the ee card and say, "This says 'ee'." Then show them the e-e card and say, "And this says 'ee'." Then show them the ea card and say, "And this says 'ee'." Continue for the other cards. Then play a little game where you point to each card and say, "What does this say?"

Next, take out the little booklets that match the cards. Place each booklet on top of its card (for example, place the 'ea' booklet on top of the 'ea' card). Then, guide the child to read each of the booklets. They just love being able to read these tiny books! And, the more they read, the more they start to recognize accurate spellings. This is an effortless way to ease young children into spelling.

Matches perfectly with the Phonogram Spelling Dictionary.


The cards and booklets for each key sound are all kept together in a lovely little folder (choose luxurious cork pouches or serviceable envelopes). Each pouch is labeled with the key sound in large bold letters. You can store your set of all 14 folders in the box it comes in. Take off the lid and put it right on the shelf!

The complete Phonogram Folders Set includes:

  • 14 folders (choose from cork pouches or red envelopes), each labeled with one of the key sounds from the sandpaper letters (ai, au, e, ee, er, f, ie, j, oa, or, ou, oy, s, and ue).
  • Each folder contains a card and booklet for each common spelling variation within that key sound. For example, there are five booklets and five cards in the ee folder: ee, e-e, ea, ie, and y.

There are 42 booklets in the set. Each booklet:

  • Contains 10 words with the spelling variation (e.g., ph) isolated in red
  • Has the color-coded key sound (from the sandpaper letters) printed on the back cover (as a reference)
  • Is laminated with rounded corners
  • Is tightly spiral bound
  • Is approx. 1.5"h x 3.75"w
    Similarly, there are 42 phonogram cards in the set (one that matches each booklet). Each phonogram card:
    • Features the key sound printed in large, bold, red letters on the front
    • Has the color-coded key sound (from the sandpaper letters) printed in small letters on the back (as a control of error)
    • Is laminated with rounded corners
    • Is approx. 3.75"h x 4.25"w

    Folder contents are as follows:

      Folder Key Sound

      Cards & Booklets (1 for each)

      Total # Cards

      Total # Booklets

       ai ai, a-e, ay, ei 4 4
      au au, aw 2 2
      e e, ea 2 2
      ee ee, ea, e-e, ie, y 5 5
      er er, ir, ur 3 3
      f f, ph 2 2
      ie ie, i-e, igh, y 4 4
      j j, ge, gi 3 3
      oa oa, o-e, oe, ow 4 4
      or or, ore 2 2
      ou ou, ow 2 2
      oy oy, oi 2 2
      s s, ce, ci 3 3
      ue ue, ew, oo, u-e 4 4
      Total 42 42

          Note: Don't worry about teaching every possible pattern of spelling variation in English; that would be an overwhelming task. Instead, we show the children enough examples to convey that English spelling requires flexibility and practice. The rest comes with reading and writing experience.

          Cork Folders vs. Envelopes

          Believe it or not, making the perfect folders to hold these cards and booklets took nearly a year of research and testing.

          When we discovered cork fabric, we knew we had the perfect solution. The cork pouches are absolutely delicious in every way. Once you get your hands on them, you don't want to put them down!

          • Cork folders (recommended):
            • Made from incredibly soft, appealing, and ecologically-sound cork with a fabric backing
            • Durable; built to last
            • Luxurious to touch yet easy to wipe clean
            • Printed with the key sound in bold
            • Approx. 6.25"H x 7"W with rounded corners

          We also have a budget envelope option that is functional but needs a careful presentation so that the envelopes will last. Julia (Maitri Learning's founder) had an envelope set in her classroom that lasted for years. These envelopes are serviceable and a good starting option.

          • Red envelopes (economical/serviceable):
            • Smooth heavyweight paper (not laminated) with a felted finish
            • Printed with the key sound in bold
            • Approx. 6.25"h x 7.5"w


            These folders were first designed by Muriel Dwyer, AMI teacher trainer in the United Kingdom and Africa. She worked extensively in both English and Swahili which are both partially phonetic languages. Ms. Dwyer adapted Dr. Montessori’s approach (which was developed for Italian, a purely phonetic language) for use in any language that is partially phonetic. The Dwyer system is regularly incorporated into AMI Montessori programs around the world. 

            Item #: PHFOLD