In the Montessori environment, children are exposed to Math in all areas of the classroom. It begins in Practical Life, where the children are pouring, spooning, sorting, classifying and practicing skills that will prepare them for Mathematics. Maria Montessori also designed the Sensorial materials in sets of ten to prepare the child for the decimal system.
The math materials are prepared in a sequence and each one is build upon the previous one. It is important to enable the child to manipulate the materials through their senses to build a concrete foundation at their own pace before they can think abstractly.
The basic materials such as spindle boxes, sandpaper numerals, cards and counters build the foundation for the remainder of the Math materials. Children develop a concrete understanding of quantity through these hands-on materials.
Once a child can associate quantity 1-10 with their numerals, other math concepts are introduce.
- Introduction of the decimal system (1, 10, 100, 1000) with the golden bead material
- Concepts of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
- Linear counting up 1000
- Skip counting