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Montessori Mathematics Materials

Montessori Materials Mathematics Dr. Montessori agreed with the French Philosopher , Blaise Pascal, that the human mind is endowed with natural mathematical capabilities. For this reason, Montessori developed a carefully prepared environment that was replete with materials, which she called ‘materialized abstractions’ with which the child could achieve the “Early Preparation of the Mathematical Mind”.Principles for the teaching of mathematics must address several concepts. These include the child’s ability to understand number and number relations, which depends on mental development, that children acquire this ability at different ages and need varying amounts of practice in order to develop it, and that the prerequisite of sensorial foundations is in place.

Once this is determined, our math system of instruction includes learning by experiment and thought, rather than words, the use of concrete materials until the child abandons them, and a very clear presentation of the decimal principle on which our number system rests. Individual presentations eliminate ‘class teaching’ and the abandonment of a fixed time-table. We see that very large numbers are given even to the youngest children.

In the very beginning of a math program, the counting of a prepared entity (numerical rods) precludes tracing sandpaper numbers. Soon the number sources are associated. Many exercises in numbers one through ten are to follow. Golden beads introduce the decimal system which leads to the ever popular “Bank Game”. Teens and tens are introduced appropriately, and all children eagerly await the counting of the 1000 bead chain!!