Parent Education Night: Montessori Math

In January, we invited parents into our classrooms for an evening of exploring Montessori math materials. 

Since a Montessori program is so different from a traditional early childhood program, parents new to the method may wonder what their child “does” all day long.  Not many papers, art projects or worksheets are sent home, since most of the learning is completed by hands on interaction with our beautiful materials!  Parent education nights are a wonderful opportunity for parents to get a glimpse into our classrooms and learn alongside their child! 

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Above, Ms. Allison demonstrates several of the math materials to parents.

math materials with parents

Demonstrated here, is one of our introductory materials: sandpaper numbers and the spindle box.  Sandpaper numbers help a child gain muscular memory of numerals, while the spindle box then associates those numerals with quantities.  After a child learns the numbers 0-9, they can play the “spindle” game, which requires them to place the correct number of spindles in the numbered slots on the box.  If they run out of spindles, or have extra spindles remaining once they are done, they will know that they mis-counted and can go back and check their work.

decimal system at preschool

On the left, we see an introduction to the decimal system and symbols: 1 unit, 1 ten, 1 hundred, 1 thousand.  There is a single golden bead to represent a unit, one bar of ten beads to represent ten, a square made up of ten bars of ten-beads to represent 100, and a cube of 1,000 golden beads made up of ten hundred squares.    Children in our 3-6 classroom use these materials and gain a tactile and muscular sensation over the numbers 1 to 1,000.  They can visually discriminate the difference between each quantity, and learn the symbols (numerals) associated with each quantity.

The golden beads materials and the number cards are also used for the bank game and the exchange game, which parents also had the opportunity to explore! 

Here, the stamp game is being explored.  Tiles are color coded to represent a unit (1), tens, hundreds, and thousands.  Children begin working with this material to add and subtract up to four-digit numbers.  Once they can do this, dynamic operations are introduced (“carrying over” and “borrowing”).  Children can also use this activity to learn up to four-digit multiplication and division!

snake game with parents at preschool

The snake game uses the ten golden bead bar, color bead bars (representing quantities from 1-9), and black and white bead bars (representing quantities from 1-9).  The color bead bars can be connected together in a “snake” formation any way desired.  The child then begins to count by tens, and ultimately exchanges colored beads for the golden bead bar.  This game teaches the child linear counting, exchanging, addition and how to make quantities of “ten”.

We are so grateful to our wonderful parent community at Sonnet Montessori and extend a HUGE thanks to everyone who attended this event and our amazing teachers for their passion for Montessori education!

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