Getting Our Hands on Numeracy

This term, we have been expanding our knowledge of number in the Maths group. As with the Montessori classroom, we are using all sorts of concrete resources to help us understand place value, as well as the concepts of addition, subtraction, and fractions. We can see, feel and even hear (by dropping marbles into a bucket) the numbers and thus understand them better.

When students regularly work to develop a concrete level of understanding of a Mathematical concept or skill, they can use this knowledge to progress from using tangible materials to using mental strategies. This emphasis on manipulating concrete materials, and using these experiences to lay a firm foundation for the abstract understanding of concepts, is integral to the Montessori environment, and to effective learning in general.

Right now, some of the students are using an Arithmetic Rack to make and read the numbers 1 to 20, and add and subtract numbers in this range. They are beginning to use their knowledge and understanding of the Arithmetic Rack to recall Maths facts easily and fluently so they can solve the tasks mentally.  They can then apply this basic knowledge to solving equations with larger numbers. We are already well on our way to doing this without the rack.

By using a rich variety of concrete materials and activities, we are actively developing and strengthening our number sense. See us in action in the photos!

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