Thursday, 20 December 2012

Montessori Math : Cards & Counters


>Number cards 1 to 10 

>Mahjong chips or colourful pebbles 

>A work mat 


1.Ask child to sit beside you facing a work mat. 

2.Ask child to arrange number cards in sequence from 1 to 10, beginning from the left corner of the mat. 


3.Ask child to pick up one chip at a time and place it under the number cards, beginning from card numbered 1. Explain to the child that 1, has NO FRIEND. So, when this happens one goes in the middle position, under the corresponding number card 1. Ask child to count as he picks up the chips from now on. 

4.Ask child what number comes after number 1.(Verbal Reinforcement) 

5.When child says correctly (number 2), request child picks up and counts the correct number of chips and again place it under its corresponding number card.(Repetition of gentle reminders/instructions breeds the familiarity children need until such time the child is observed to be able to carry out the exercise on his/her own) 

6.This time, explain to the child that 2 has a friend. (Just like queueing up in school 2-by-2 with their classmate) So, friends go together. Hence, the chips are lined side by side. 


7.Continue with the rest of the numbers, repeating each process with the remaining numbers up till number card 10. Remember the phrase, - NO FRIEND (place ctr) and WITH FRIEND (place side by side) and all this time counting together each piece that is picked up by the child. If the child can verbalise the instructions on his/her own after the first few assisted presentations, let it be. That's a great sign that the repetition method has sunk into the child's mind at the point of concentration. 

8.This method has self-correctional feature. All the chips has to be used up upon completion of this exercise. Which means, the instructor has to already have prepared a total of 55 chips altogether, preferably of a same colour. 

9.End the exercise by concluding that the child has managed to arrange all the chips corresponding to the numbers 1 to 10 for the day. 

10.Instructor and child may then choose to check all the pieces together to ensure accuracy of the exercise. At any time, there is a mis-count, do not stress the importance of getting it right, esp at first go. Just say, we'll do this exercise/activity again another day. No worries. Praise the child for a fantastic effort. 

>It is fantastic effort for a child say aged 3.5yrs or 4yrs to count, each time going back to one, till 55 chips are all used up... Compliment the things that children can do and not criticise what they can't. As a general rule, ALWAYS encourage & NEVER discourage. :wink: 

11.For older children, or for instructors/parents who find their children are up to it, this material is great for introducing odds and evens concept... 

It goes like this... 

12.Now, lets do odds and evens. Let's start with one. Show action of sliding your finger (pointer) right thru the middle (of the chips). Now, explain... Gee.. when i slide my finger down the middle for one, i touch the chip. Now that's an odd number. 

13.What number comes after 1? 2! Ok, very good. Now, i'll slide my finger down the middle... let's see... hmmm... i didn't touch any chip. Cos two has a friend, so that's an even number. Now, would you like to try that 
out? Resume till number 10. Instructor may choose to raise the number cards that are even slightly higher than the original position to depict the concept of counting in 2's later on upon completion, more clearly. 


14.Shall we count all the even numbers? Point to the raised number cards and count together. 2... 4... 6... 8... 10. 

15. Now, shall we count the odd numbers? 1... 3... 6... 9. 

16.Well done, now if you would like to practise this activity again, just let me know and we'll do it together. If you think you can manage on your own, that's great too! It was fun working with you! 


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