Sunday, 5 October 2014


After the child has mastered activities (basic and extension) using the Number Rods, the child can now move on to the Spindle Box.

The Spindle Box, is a box with 10 compartments with the numbers 0-9printed on it. This Montessori Math equipment, first introduces the child to the symbol 0 and what zero stands for/means.

Montessori Method emphasizes on working with children from concrete to abstract. Regardless of subject matter, concrete learning experiences help embed concrete information in a children's minds. The quote; "What goes through your hands, goes to your mind.." rings true in our ways of guiding our Montessorian children.

Today, Budsy will share how to work with the Spindle Box. 
Hope you find today's sharing useful, in guiding your children on using Montessori Math equipment.


(1) "Today, we are going to work with the spindle box." 

Point to the zero on the box. 

"This is zero. Zero means nothing. So, we don't put anything in the zero compartment."

(2) "Now, what number comes next?" Allow the child some time to respond. 

"Yes, you're right. 1 comes after zero."

(3) "Let's count one spindle and 
put it on the mat."

(4) Show child how to place 
one spindle on the mat.

(5) "One."

"One spindle."

(6) "Now, let's put one spindle in the 
Number 1 compartment."

(7) Continue in the same manner for the rest of the numbers. In this picture, lil' dragon_boi is working on eight spindles. 

He gets one spindle at a time and places them on his big work mat, beginning from left to right. 
Each time he places a spindle on the mat, he counts them in numerical order and stops taking any more spindles once he 
reaches the number 8. 

This is why it is important to highlight - "What number comes after ___?" or "What number comes next?" 
at the start of a new number. The child will remember to work towards getting the matching quantity / number of spindles.

(8) After lil' dragon_boi places all eight spindles on his work mat, I encourage him to double check the quantity he has placed by counting all the spindles from left to right.

This is the stage where self-correction can be exercised by the child, should there be an inaccurate 
number of spindles before putting them in the specific compartment.

(9) Ask / show child how to pick up the spindles laid on the mat in a grasp. 
The muscular impression a child gets 
from this, is that as the number 
increases, the quantity increases too.

10) With all the spindles within grasp, ask / show the child how to place all of them together, in the correct compartment.

(11) The child's small hands will feel how full the spindles will feel as the quantity increases. For a child with smaller hands, he or she can use both hands to pick up all the spindles.

(12) Ask / Show the child how to place the spindles in his grasp, into the correct compartment. In this picture, lil' dragon_boi is putting 8 spindles that he has counted 
into the 8th compartment.

He would have double checked the number of spindles on his mat first. "1... 2... 3... 4... 5... 6... 7... 8."

Then, he would confirm his count. "8. 8 spindles. Let's / I will put them in the number 8 compartment." 
He then places the spindles into the right compartment.

(13) The Spindle Box comes with 45 spindles; just enough to carry out this exercise. If there are insufficient or remaining spindles in the box at the end of the exercise, it tells the child that the exercise was not done accurately. Hence, still having remaining number of spindles or realizing that the spindles are insufficient 
at the end, is the control of error for this activity.

The objectives of this activity using the Spindle Box are :
(1) The first introduction to zero.

(2) Offering the child muscular 
impression of quantities.

(3) Making association between fixed written symbol and loose quantities. This is a progression from working with the number rods where the child worked with fixed quantities.

This activity is gauged to be suitable for children 3.5 years of age. If your child has sensitivity to numbers and counting at an earlier age and also has been receiving regular stimuli within your home/learning environment and has completed the basic and extension exercises using the Number Rods, 
you may move on to present the Spindle Box activity to your child.

Note : All activities require presentation from the directress or facilitator/parent first. This ensures that the child knows how to carry out the activity effectively to achieve the objectives of equipment and also know how to carry out the activity in a proper fashion to ensure safety of use when the child is ready to work on it independently at a later time.

No comments:

Post a Comment