logic, sequence, order, and the extrapolation of truth. In the
Montessori philosophy it's stated that the child has a 'mathematical
mind' and an internal drive to understand the environment around them.
It can therefore be said that children have an inborn attraction for
math. Their minds are full of energy that propels them to absorb,
manipulate, classify, order, sequence, abstract, and repeat. These
tendencies are those which help the child to acquire a greater depth to
his mathematical knowledge.
It is the precision of the
presentations and the exactness of the math materials that attract
children to this area of the classroom. As well, children in the primary
Montessori classroom are in the process (sensitive period) of fine
tuning their perceptions. Children are sensitive to minute changes in
order, sequence, and size. They will notice a teeny tiny bug in the
crack of the sidewalk where as adults will walk by blindly without
The exercises in the math area offer the children the
'keys' that they will need to send them on the road to further
exploration and maturation of the mathematical mind. The ways in which
the materials are ordered allows the children to complete full
intellectual cycles that help them to achieve the freedom to become
Math in the primary classroom is made up of many
little details that form a whole, but each detail is complete unto
itself. All early math exercises are worked at the sensorial level so as
to ensure that the child relates the quantity to the symbol (example:
Montessori Math - Numbers
The foundation of math is numbers to ten. The
exercises in this section must be firmly rooted in the child before
continuing through the math materials. The child learns the names of the
numbers and the fact that each number represents a certain quantity.
The child learns to associate the language, written symbol, and quantity
of each number from 0 to 9. Sensorially he is shown even and odd
numbers, as well, the child learns to fix a number in his mind and
remember it after a long period of time.
The Decimal System introduces the child to the bead
materials and the associated cards for each category. The child learns
that zero can give a greater value to a number, and he also learns the
language of the larger numbers. The Collective Exercises show the child
how to change (10 units/ones changes for 1 ten), and gives the child a
sensorial impression of addition, multiplication, subtraction, division,
and the relationship between the operations.
The section on Teens and Tens parallels the work
with Association of Beads and Cards. The child learns to associate
quantities, names, and symbols of the teens and tens. As well, the child
is introduced to the colors of each individual bead bar which is
important for future exercises. This section finishes off by
consolidating the child's knowledge when he works on the linear and skip
counting of the square and cube chains from the bead cabinet.
The Exploration and Memorization of Tables
section focuses on the exploration and memorization of addition,
subtraction, multiplication, and division tables. The tables that the
children learn are limited in the fact that any given category of a
question is not above the number nine. The materials in this area give
the child the opportunity to explore essential number combinations for
each mathematical operation and continue to move the child towards less
The Transitional Materials
materials allow the child to re-examine all the concepts he has already
learned. The child begins to realize that the materials hinder his
efficiency and that he no longer requires the materials to do the
operations. When the child reaches this point, he can now think
The last section of the
math area introduces the child to fractions and has the child explore
the materials in order to discover the rules of each fraction operation.
If you are
homeschooling your child and wish to have a little more theory,
direction on the presentation, and suggested age of when to present the
Montessori Math materials you can purchase our Math Teaching Manual.