“Children display a universal love of mathematics, which is par excellence the science of precision, order, and intelligence.” - Maria Montessori
Developing the Sense of Order
Maria Montessori believed the development of the mathematical mind starts well before children learn their numbers. This mind is prepared through an environment that has order.
The sensitive period for order begins at birth and continues through the early toddler years. Throughout this time, children are learning how to organize information and are developing their reasoning skills. It is therefore vital that we provide opportunities for children to learn order in the prepared environment.
Early Numeration Lessons
Once children begin to feel comfortable in their environment and have received the initial Montessori lessons, they can begin to explore early numeration works.
The important concepts taught at this time are the association of symbol to quantity, rote counting practice and making sets of numbers.
The tactile ladybug stones and 1-10 counting stones are wonderful extensions to add to the shelves in the mathematical area of the classroom. Through these works, children can practice counting while touching the indents on each stone.
Once children begin to understand counting and the association of quantities to numerical symbols, they can continue to practice using loose objects. Gems are often used with the sandpaper numerals in this case, but a variety of interest can be added to this practice by changing up the items used.
This tomato count and sort kit is a favorite of ours at Montessori N' Such and is the perfect addition to late summer curriculum. The small tomatoes are inviting and the case is a wonderful chance container opening practice. Plus, this work has the additional benefit of teaching children how to identify numbers as they are visually depicted on dice.