Early Math Concepts @ Home Using The Montessori Method

I have always had passion for the endless wonders of early childhood activities and have been on a journey to create even more creative teaching resources for my children and also my students. Investing in cool and value for money resources during my working days also helped me teach my own children phase by phase as they grew. I bought resources beyond their age level to ensure i was prepared when the time came. This early investment came in extremely handy as i eventually embarked on the journey of a stay-home-parent. Staying home means i cannot spend on teaching resources/materials like how i used to when i was still drawing a paycheck.

Likewise for clothing. During the sales periods especially for branded clothing; i will buy bigger sized clothing for the children on top of the ones they can wear immediately. Hahaa! KS me…  

There are many school of thought when it comes to early childhood programmes and i personally find there is merit in each individual methodology. Parents and children alike can benefit from a bit of everything. The learning journey shouldn’t be a rigid process in my opinion. It should evolve with the phases of time and generation. Many here by now should know my ultimate passion is working with the Montessori Methodology for i have tried, tested and seen them work immensely on children young and older. Allowing pace is one of its strengths and given sufficient headstart with this methodology, children can learn about everything under the sun and be adequately ready not only for Primary education but also for life, for Montessori is a holistic methodology.

I’ve shared many on teaching phonics at home using purchased materials and also DIY ones. This time, i will be sharing on Early Math concepts… yes… using the Montessori Method of course. 

Having to stay home with my girls just meant i had to think out of the box to create materials for them to work with like hands-on materials and personalised worksheets for their different age group. This will ensure that though i am teaching one same concept, both of them could work with me at the same time without disrupting one another’s activity. Worksheet difficulty will have to vary as well. Being an owlette since school days had been to my advantage as i use my nights to make materials & worksheets plus plan my lessons for my children & students.

I’m very pro-foundation, meaning i really encourage the very basic understanding of concepts first when it comes to teaching my children anything. It’s like….. we cannot ask a child to walk before they even know or can crawl, right? Similar for mathematical concepts, it is important that we can influence children and share with them the joys of learning math and involve them in the process of learning those concepts in our daily go-abouts. It is possible to make math really fun…. errr… for now, by that, i mean….. preschool age. Kekeke..

In the Montessori Method, we use what we call The Number Rods to introduce the basic concept of counting 1 to 10. Here we also first introduce the names of the numbers and introducing the number sequence and help children understand the value of each number via various activities/exercises using The Number Rods. They are wooden rods varying in length from 1 decimeter to 1 metre, each alternately coloured in red and blue. This is how it looks like.

Here’s how we start off our introduction to our young Montessorians… Using the 3-period lesson, similar to the one i shared in the Montessori Phonics thread, we show (introduce the material)… we ask… we conclude. Here’s a step by step so it’s clearer. 

"Today, we’re going to work with this material called the Number Rods."

  "This is one."

  "This is how we count, one…"

 *Gently slide two fingers (pointer and tall man) across the rod, from left to right.* Then repeat yourself by saying, "One."  Invite the child to try. "Would you like to try?" After which, put the material away/aside. We usually do not force upon the child to work with the material if they’re reluctant. Come back to it another day when the child is more ready.

 "This is two."

"This is how we count two…"

 From left, point to each coloured part & count. "One…"

 "Two."

  *Gently slide two fingers across the rod, from left to right.*

 Repeat the count by saying, "Two."

Then, invite your child to work on the material. "Would you like to try?"

After which, put the material away/aside. Continue with the next rod in similar fashion.

 "This is three."

"This is how we count, three."

 "One…"  "Two…"  "Three…"

Similarly, gently slide the two fingers across the rod from left to right and then look at the child and say / conclude the counting, "Three." That ends The 1st Period of the 3-Period Lesson. In the 2nd Period, we are to look out / observe that the child understood the 1st Period by showing or pointing to the correct material / rod… at random… as requested.

 

"Can you show me three?"

"Now, can you show me, one?"

"Which is two?"

Finally, conclude the presentation/introduction of the lesson.

 "Today, we have learnt… one…"

 … two … and

 … three ."

Arrange each rod to form a stair… and conclude that he/she is free to work on the material again when he/she feels like it and request that he/she help you keep the material on the shelf, so that he/she will know where to get it from should he/she wants to work with it.

Come back to the same lesson again to check back if the child has mastered that introduction before moving on to the remaining rods. Run through the similar three period lesson with all the other rods as well until you have fnished the tenth rod.

The objectives of this activity/lesson are to introduce the number names (1-10), to introduce the value of (1-10), counting in sequence, counting in fixed quantity (etc) just to name a few. As the child progresses to more rods, they will realize that with each rod they count it gets longer and the longer the rod… the value of the number increases. After which there are a few variations or extended activities to link the rod and number cards as well which i will share later on.

As we already know… Montessori materials are expensive to purchase… hence, in order to make Montessori approach available in your home with DIY materials, here’s sharing how to make your own Number Rods. This DIY segment i dedicate to soomum who have been a faithful Montessori follower of mine who is always keen to learn more about Montessori to teach her daughter at home. As a SAHP myself, i would like to use this opportunity to help others who are keen to bring Montessori education into their homes. 

 First, you’d need two big pieces of hard cardboard paper. The one i have here cost between $1.70 to $2.00 @ Popular Bookstore ala carte from the shelves.

 Use the same ruler throughout, for equal measurements of all the rods. 

 For each rod you want to make, you would need to line the cardboard with five lines across.  

 For the alternate coloured portions here, i measure the length of each around 5cm long.

 After the 5 lines are done cut the paper.

 Cut the coloured portions according to the height of the 5 lines you’ve cut. To stick, i’ve used double sided tape behind all the red portions i have cut.

 Fold along the lines front and back.

 Measure 5cm again to stick the coloured portions alternately.

See below how i finished up with this rod. It is hard enough for home use with own child(ren).

 The finished product!

 Doesn’t it look the same?

Well….. almost i suppose.

Good enough for home use larr.. 

I managed to do up more rods and frankly it looks cool to me. 

If the 3D version is too time-consuming for you to do up, you can also do the 2D version.

I used scrap cardboard (from the back of the stack of drawing block papers) for mine. 😉

Happy teaching and happy learning.. I’m still learning (AND exploring) too… catch up again soon.

Remember…

Learning should inspire…

Not make you perspire.. 

 

thanks for sharing.

thanks for sharing.

Teachable Moments

Quote Augmum, "Buds kudos to u for yr DIY montessori materials for teaching of numbers to preschoolers. As for me, i would just utilise whatever  objects which were made available to teach my gal when she was young, such as lego, soft blocks, pattern blocks and even cutlery which were laid on the table."

Heyya Augmum, thanks! 

This article is dedicated to parents who wish to DIY their Montessori resources to save cost from buying the real thing… but looking like the real thing. Hehee.. so it does definitely require some work.

I use similar materials as yourself too! Not just Montessori materials. Plus using the materials available in the home which are used during teachable moments… are the priceless moments. Learning can be done anywhere and everywhere and it wouldn’t even feel like learning especially when it comes to teaching young children. In the bus… When they eat… On the way to school… In the park… every moment with a young child is precious.

If we make use of that natural curiosity in young children to teach them the everyday things, that’s how often they learn in a day. 

 bÜds

Buds kudos to u for yr DIY montessori materials

Buds kudos to u for yr DIY montessori materials for teaching of numbers to preschoolers. As for me, i would just utilise whatever  objects which were made available to teach my gal when she was young, such as lego, soft blocks, pattern blocks and even cutlery which were laid on the table.

Creativity

Heyya catmum, creativity comes in handy when teaching our young children practically anything! Yes, LEGO… wooden blocks… rods… pegs… sticks… you name it! Point is that the more interesting the revision, the better absorbed the concept. Reinforcement is the key and it doesn’t mean we have to use the same materials over and over, especially for children who are active and easily deviated. Kudos to you for being a hands-on momma!

I’m sure your child has benefitted loads from your enthusiasm and creativity. 

This article is dedicated to parents who are keen in the Montessori Method of teaching children. They find that the cost of materials are pricey and usually PM me asking the ways on how to DIY them. As mentioned before, the Number Rods are introduced again later on to show children how to understand the number bonds concept up to 10. They’re called the Small Number Rods. The introductory steps in this article only provides the basic foundation to working the rods. More to come at a later time… 

 bÜds

Additional use -- learning Addition and Subtraction!

Thanks buds for sharing! I used lego blocks too since ds got so many blocks. We stacked them up instead of lying flat.  Same same la!  

Remember to take note of sorting by colours or altenating with 2 colours for better effect. Don’t just stack the blocks together with all different colours and without any order as it turns out to be more of a distraction to your "lesson".

But please don’t throw the rods (if you’ve made them) away after learning numbers 1-10 coz you can keep them for higher level and teach simple ADDITION up to 10! Like 1+1=1, 2+1=3, 3+1=4 … (looks like basic Kumon Maths  worksheet questions that my ds has done before!) Ds was amazed when we put 1+9, 2+8, 3+7, 4+6 together and put them  side by side — they’re all same height/length!! He thought that was MAGIC! For toddlers who’ve not seen this before, parents can make it "magical" to attract their attention and interest. Try the same for simple SUBTRACTION up to 10.

Just to add on my 2-cents worth (literally) — instead of making teaching tools, we’ve tried using 1 cent coins to teach ds number sense and money sense too. YES, 100 pieces of 1 cent coins (very very hard to find nowadays leh!) Not only that we used them to teach numbers by laying out the way buds did, we used them to teach the value when we say it’s a 10 cent coin, 20 cent coin etc, or even money counting like "How much is 20 cents and 50 cents?" and "$1 is equal to how many cents?" kind of "abstract" questions coz coins of similar sizes put together were not much diff for toddlers. With this preparation, your kid should have no problem pulling out the correct amount of $$ for canteen purchases and probably can also figure out how much change should he be getting back. 

Well Done.

Well done.  I use lego to teach maths.  Both of my boys like it very much.

Welcome!

Quote BMM, "Cool! It reminds me the work of Dr Maria Montessori :)"

Heyya BMM, thanks!

You Montessorian or a follower? Welcome to KiasuParents.com!

 bÜds

Innovative!

Quote twinklejoy, "Arigatou Gozaimasu for the DIY segment and of course, the article too!" 

You’re welcome, twinklejoy! 

Happy you liked it!

"Due to my ignorance, I didn’t know I have to use the 3 period lesson to introduce the number rods, no wonder my child just walked away when I took out my number rods(it’s actually made from Lego ) and started to ‘teach’ blindly." 

Innovative way of making the rods and definitely the easier way.. heheee..

Parents can also buy wooden unpolished rods from Daiso… comes in a bag. Then, just spray paint it yourself to the colours of blue and red just like the actual Number Rods featured here. The Daiso ones that come in a bag contains a handful of small rods, not sure of the quantity though.

My DIY is more for parents who wish to do up their own Montessori materials should they not be able to purchase them, hence i tried to make it more realz. Kekekee.. This particular material can be used for number bonds as well, but need to have 2 sets to do so. Hence it can go a long way lah.. Using hard cardboard paper can preserve its life! 

"Now I know the reasons and will adopt the methods then."

Cheers to that then, twinklejoy! Do update if you have success with it. If failure then oso can come back, i help you to trouble shoot okie? Good luck!

"Thanks once again Buds!!"

Always welcome! 

 bÜds

Cool

It reminds me the work of Dr Maria Montessori 🙂

Thank You Buds!

Arigatou Gozaimasu for the DIY segment and of course, the article too!

Due to my ignorance, I didn’t know I have to use the 3 period lesson to introduce the number rods, no wonder my child just walked away when I took out my number rods(it’s actually made from Lego ) and started to ‘teach’ blindly. 

Now I know the reasons and will adopt the methods then

Thanks once again Buds!!

Cheers!

Quote, janet_lee88, "I am SIMPLY amazed ! Keep it up Buds, you have been a great mummy." 

Heyya janet_lee88, thank you for your support. It provides encouragement for me to share even more. Hehee! Cheers! 

 bÜds

The ways of Dr Maria Montessori

Quote bebebub, "Hi Buds, thanks for sharing. My 2 year old can recite her numbers, but I often wonder if she really understand the number concept. Will adopt your method of number teaching."

Heyya bebebub, you are very welcome! 

You are right to wonder that! Reciting numbers may not necessarily mean understanding the value of numbers… heck, it doesn’t even usually mean that singing the number song means children which are the numbers that represent what they’re singing.  

What i love about Montessori Math is how detailed it is… how systematic it is… how concrete the method is and best of all, how tactile it really is! I mean math is seriously ain’t just about numbers and the tactile part of learning math thru this method gives children true impressions of number concepts. I like that it benefits children best when the method goes introducing math from concrete to abstract. Rods, chips, golden beads (etc) are worked on with the children to help them marry counting the objects with its corresponding numbers; hence automatically though indirectly… teaching the children the respective values in those abstract numbers they see, count and write.

This is not my method by the way… 

I’m just sharing the wonderful ways of teaching children using the tried, the tested & the successfully proven ways of the founder of this approach… Dr Maria Montessori.

 bÜds

Parents these days...

Quote jenao, "Thank you for sharing this. This is very very well explained and you are amazing. I have been reading some of your threads like letterland, montessori silently and am very very impressed by your generous sharing.

Am wondering if I shld send my gal to montessori and was going to digest your montessori thread and read the books first. Hope I have the time."

Heyya jenao, you are welcome and thank you for your generous compliments.  

Parents in this day and age are no longer like the ones before who are pretty much bo-chap… left everything to the teachers and the school to gao tim… while they either tended to full-time jobs or 2 jobs even… or tending to many many other children at home. Parents these days are more knowledgable, more involved and i see more parents wanting to know how to revise/follow up with their children and quite a substantial handful wanting to homeschool. Hence i hope with such sharings, other fellow stay home parents like myself or even grandparents too… can work some fun stuff with their children/grandchildren. I am extremely passionate abt what i believe can benefit children everywhere and am extending just some little bits of what i know with others here.

Letterland is so much fun to learn! The songs are catchy and the characters come alive… making learning Phonics a lotta fun with Letterland. Montessori education has so much depth and benefits children as a whole. It doesn’t just cover the academics but also grace & courtesy and the encouragement of instilling independence in children with practical life skills/activities.

If you have the means to send your child to a Montessori school, YES, you should. Check out the centres and the teachers too. Good Montessori teachers can help guide your child to love learning… for life.

 bÜds

Only the beginning...

Quote autumnbronze, "Hiya sista, GREAT sharing indeed!!! Woo hoooo, yet another interesting and innovative way to teach DS counting.  Thank you  I may not follow the montessori method when teaching sonny, but heck, doesn’t mean I can’t use this method, no??"

Heyya sista, thanks! Anybody and everybody is welcome to use the method. One doesn’t have to be Montessori advocates to try this out… and plus, there’s more! 

This is only the beginning… 

 bÜds

Thanks Chenonceau! ;-)

Quote Chenonceau, "Wow! Buds… I am amazed. This is so impressive!!"

 Geeez.. thanks, Chenonceau. 

Guess i’m fortunate to be good with my hands bah..

 bÜds

I am SIMPLY amazed ! Keep

I am SIMPLY amazed ! Keep it up Buds, you have been a great mummy. 

Hi Buds, Thanks for sharing.

Hi Buds,
Thanks for sharing. My 2 year old can recite her numbers, but I often wonder if she really understand the number concept. Will adopt your method of number teaching.

Thank you for sharing this.

Thank you for sharing this. This is very very well explained and you are amazing. I have been reading some of your threads like letterland, montessori silently and am very very impressed by your generous sharing.

Am wondering if I shld send my gal to montessori and was going to digest your montessori thread and read the books first. Hope I have the time.

Hiya

Hiya sista,

GREAT sharing indeed!!!

Woo hoooo, yet another interesting and innovative way to teach DS counting.  Thank you

I may not follow the montessori method when teaching sonny, but heck, doesn’t mean I can’t use this method, no??

Wow! Buds... I am amazed.

Wow! Buds… I am amazed. This is so impressive!!

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