Introducing our newest blog – Work of the Week! This blog will feature a new Elementary work each week. You will get to meet our students and see how we teach them math. Our first several weeks will focus on our Elementary Math works and this week is how the Golden Beads set the foundation for learning math the Montessori way.
Children learn through exploring with their hands, manipulating materials, and using their senses to take in information. Dr Montessori believed that children could learn math in the same way. Math in itself is an abstract concept, but if these abstract concepts are put into a concrete material that the child can manipulate, they are able to learn those concepts at a much younger age, and remember them.
It is for this reason that we first introduce children to the concept of addition by adding large, 4 category numbers, rather than the usual 2+2. We do this with a work called the Golden Beads. The Golden Beads help children learn about the decimal system and understand the categories of unit, ten, hundred, and thousand, and how the categories relate to one another (ten of one category makes 1 of the next higher category).
After a child has experienced the 4 operations in that very concrete way with the Golden Beads, they begin to work with the operations with materials that are more abstract. Because they had that sensorial experience with addition through working with the Golden Beads, they now have an understanding of what addition means, and there is more relevance to 2+2=4. They are truly understanding what they are learning, and not just memorizing facts.
Your child will view math in a completely different way. They will not dread it or find it hard, but instead they will understand the concepts with ease and at their own pace. If you would like to learn more about how we teach math at Montessori Co-op School, contact us to schedule a tour.