On our Montessori math shelf now:
Spindle box — Our spindle box work has an added challenge in that Z needs to first insert the number cards in order. He will line up and count the pencils before grabbing a fistful to put into each container. The fistful of pencils is a great sensorial way to grasp the concept of small vs. big numbers (no pun intended.) Here’s the written lesson and where you can buy it. Here’s my detailed post and a video of Z doing the activity.
Short bead stair — We are learning to count the beads, associating them with the standard Montessori colors, and laying them in a triangle formation. Z still needs to practise careful counting as sometimes he will over- or under-count, but luckily the triangle formation is in itself a control of error. Here’s the written lesson and where you can buy it. Here’s my detailed post and a video of Z doing the activity.
Numerals and counters — This is currently Z’s favorite math work. He needs to lay the number pieces in order and place the corresponding quantity of marbles underneath. Because he is still young, he frequently does not have the “stamina” to go beyond 4 or 5 so he will ask for my help. Usually, I encourage him to finish an activity on his own, but because he’s starting Math at such a young age, I think it’s ok step in to help. I don’t finish the work for him or even count for him, but I will usually hand him the marbles one at a time. It’s such a small gesture of help, but it is enough to alleviate any overwhelming feeling that he might have about the activity.
His favorite part is pushing out the even numbers after everything is done. In fact, he already knows which numbers are odd and even just by looking at the way the marbles are arranged.
Hundred board — Another one of Z’s favorites. It all started when he picked up a 1-90 Bingo chip placement card that I had lying around (it looks just like the hundred board, except it only goes up to 90.) He wanted to name each and every number.
So before I went and invested in the actual Montessori hundred board, I decided to let him try the free iPad version. Sure enough, it was a hit. So I went and bought the real thing, and that too is a hit.
Again, he does not have the “stamina” to go beyond 15-20, but just handing him the chips to place is enough to keep him going. At this point, we are just placing the numbers on the board and naming them out loud. He frequently stumbles at the tens — he’ll say “twenty eight, twenty nine, twenty three” (looking at the 30), so we are still learning the names of the tens numbers.
Teens board — This seemed to be an easy one for Z. He knows how to slide the single digits in to create teen numbers. This was one of the first Math activities I brought out for him (simply because I already had it and didn’t need to wait for delivery.)
But simply knowing how to create teens numbers isn’t the end goal. So now this material will take a back seat while we focus on the short bead stair, followed by 11-19 beads, and finally combining the 11-19 beads with the teens board so he can concretely relate quantity with numbers.
Introduction to the decimal system — I love the decimal system work and can’t wait until Z is matured enough to play the bank game! But for now, I am just introducing the names to him (units, tens, hundreds and thousands.) To be honest, this is the least favorite work of his — it isn’t as engaging as some of the other Math work. I am trying out a song to help him remember the names, but what I think I should do is count out the beads with him to see if it strikes an “Aha!” moment.
Writing numbers — Ever since the sand tray incident, Z has gained the confidence to write and is voraciously writing numbers everywhere! I’ve run out of scrap paper. He’s also writing alphabets now, but his favorite is still numbers.