Am I REALLY starting to fall in love with math? How can this be?! Growing up I had the most difficult time with math! I had so much trouble understanding the problems even though my family and sometimes tutors would try to help. From about middle school and up, I just could not grasp the concepts and would fall so behind since the next chapter would depend on what you had previously learned. Sad to say, it seemed that I would always just barely get by without really learning much.
Now, as I study the Montessori method and materials for teaching my children, I cannot believe how excited I am to learn more about how math is done. When I say excited, I mean really excited! I'm actually hungry for the knowledge to help give my children a good foundation in math. It is truly amazing, given the fact that math has always stressed me out! I too am using the Montessori method to learn math, it would seem, for the very first time. So, in my joy and new found love of math, I would like to share a few resources that I have come to enjoy!
One of the things that has helped me in understanding how to present the math lessons to the children has been actually using the material myself. All this talk of bead stairs, number rods, stamp games, and ten boards was a bit foreign to me. That is... until I was able to use the materials for myself, or see them demonstrated. I highly recommend that you get your hands on a set of Montessori materials if possible. This is what really turned the light on for me! So far the Montessori Outlet has worked for me. Montessori Materials, as most of us know all too well, can be very expensive, so if you can't get your hands on some materials, I would suggest visiting a school and observing some presentations if possible.
Math Works: Montessori and the Developing Brain
This is an awesome book I just got that talks about Montessori math materials and has a reference section in the back naming the materials with a short description of what they are used for. Never in my life folks! Never in my life did I think I would be reading about math and enjoying it!
This video gives an overview of the Montessori math methods:
Finally, here is one more video by Tami Elliot, (I am so grateful to her for making these videos!) owner of Northstar Montessori Preschool, in which she demonstrates counting in the teens by using the hanging bars: