In our math curriculum, we focus on number recognition 0-9, then 1-10, the teen numbers, and finally 1-100. When the children become comfortable recognizing their numbers and associating quantity and numerals, we introduce them to simple operations, such as addition, subtraction, and the concept of place value.

The Colored Bead Stair is a classic Montessori material that introduces quantifying 1 through 9. Once the child has mastered the original presentation, the material lends itself to an unlimited number of extensions.

The next step is to introduce numbers from 1-10. The Number Rods is a great visual tool to represent the concept of quantity. As the quantity increases, each rod increases in length in 10 cm increments. Once children feel comfortable counting the alternating red and blue sections on each rod and lining them up from 1 to 10, they are ready to label them with the number cards, the symbolic representation of a given quantity. As the final step, the children practice tracing their numbers in the cornmeal tray.
The Counters and Numerals is another classic Montessori work for quantifying 1-10.
Depending on our focus of studies and the children’s interest, we provide plenty of opportunities to count various things and match them to their corresponding numeric form.
Next, we move into the teen numbers. The golden bars represent the place value for the tens, and the colored bead bars represent the units.
The Hundred Board is a great way to practice our number sequence from 1 to 100 by rows of tens. The control sheet helps the children line up the numbers in the correct order without external help. And when a child completes the Hundred Board, they feel a tremendous sense of pride and accomplishment!
The children that are ready, move on to simple operations. We add hedgehogs together, balance addition sentences out on the scales, or make 10 with our wooden numerals.
The Montessori fraction skillets are a great way to introduce the concept of fractions, which, accompanied by cutting balls of playdough into halves, thirds, and quarters, lets the children experience the concept in a concrete way.
And finally, The Great Bead Layout! This is where it all comes to place: the units, the ten bars, the hundred squares, and the thousand cubes – a hands-on, multi-sensory representation of place value. From here on, the sky is the limit! By manipulating the beautiful golden beads, the children are able to do large number additions in the thousands!
I wish I had learned math in the Montessori way when I was in preschool!

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5723 Oak Grove Ave.
Oakland, CA 94618

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