“I’m going to teach my friend the biggest math work in the room!” a returning student declared during the first week of school. This work is called The 45 Layout, an introduction to place value that is taught in a concrete manner using hands-on materials. The boys excitedly begin to set up this large work: putting out the big work mat and ferrying the materials from the shelf to their work space. In addition to requiring the children to use their memory when organizing the work, they also get quite a work out physically by moving the heavy thousand cubes!
Numeral cards are laid out in order: units, tens, hundreds, and thousands. This time around, the boys lay them out in a rather creative way, horizontally rather than the traditional vertical method. Next, they begin counting and matching quantity to numeral using the Golden Beads, the returning student taking time to guide his friend through the lesson, showing him how to carefully count and organize the beads. When completed, big smiles light up their faces as they admire their “big work”.
Memory, movement, and merry children busy at work: Math, the Montessori way!
“Children display a universal love of mathematics, which is par excellence the science of precision, order, and intelligence.” Dr. Maria Montessori