I love the fact that the Montessori Math curriculum is so systematic. The lessons build sequentially on previous learning, they are self-correcting, they introduce concrete learning before abstract learning, and they isolate the difficulty being learned.
Montessori Preschool Math - Montessori Materials Make the Difference With Advanced Concepts!I love the fact that each child works through the curriculum at their own pace without pressure and/or expectations. The children are given the freedom to choose what it is they wish to work on and to repeat the steps as many times as they wish until they have the confidence to move on to the next step. Montessori students don’t just go through the motions to perform mathematical operations, they use hands–on Montessori classroom material (manipulatives) to ensure they are truly understanding the process … what a gift to give any child!
I have a nine-year-old daughter who came home from school feeling very frustrated a few weeks ago. She is in a French Immersion program, but in a traditional setting and they had just begun learning subtraction with borrowing (dynamic subtraction). My poor daughter was completely lost … she was going through the motions but had no idea why she was crossing out certain numbers and putting the number ‘1’ in front of other numbers. She was making errors and in some cases just drawing a blank altogether.
That weekend, she and I spent a couple of hours at my preschool working with the Golden Bead Material and, after about an hour or so, the light bulb went on and the look of relief on her face almost brought me to tears. She gave me a big hug and said, “Thank you for helping me get it, Mom. Now it all makes sense!” With the work that she was doing in school, she was seeing the numbers (symbols) on the page and had been taught how to manipulate them, but none of it made any sense to her. Now, after working with the actual materials, she understands what the symbols represent and the “why” behind the process.
Related NAMC blogs:
- Montessori Math Curriculum Overview
- Developing the Mathematical Mind in the Montessori Environment
- Montessori Philosophy: Moving from Concrete to Abstract
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Monday, May 2, 2011.