Description of Materials:
- Montessori Number Rods.
- Large felt mat for floor exercise.
- To introduce the child to fix quantity.
- To introduce the child to counting from 1 to 10 using whole quantities, e.g. 2 as a whole.
- To make the child aware of the sequence of numbers 1 to 10.
- To make the child aware of the quantitative relationship between numbers, e.g. 2 is more than 1 and 3 is more than 2, etc.
- To make the child aware of the concept of numbers as an aggregate of 1’s (e.g. the child can check this by counting the rods)
- To introduce the verbal number names and their quantity from 1-10.
Control of Error
- If the stair is correctly built the child will be able to name the rods from one to ten in the correct order. If the stair is built incorrectly, the stair will not be a smooth ascending stair, so visually, the child could see that it was not built correctly.
- One, two, three to ten.
- 3 and above.
- Teacher invites the child to the shelf and introduces her to the Number Rods. Teacher invites the child to select a working place on the floor and then show the child how to bring the materials to the working place.
- Teacher shows how to lay out the floor mat.
- Teacher places the rods at random on the mat.
- Teacher shows the child how to build the stairs with the first three rods. Then she invites the child to continue building the rest.
- When completed, teacher takes the first 3 rods and go through "The Three Period Lesson" and introduces the names "one, two, three" in association with the quantities one, two, three.
The First Period:
She points to the first rod and say ,"This is one. (The teacher encourages the child to repeat the name after her and says, ‘Can you say one?") She then points to the second rod and say, "This is two." And then to the third rod and say "This is three"
The Second Period:
Teacher then says to the child "Show me 1" and the child will probably point to the first rod. "Show me 2" and so on.
The Third Period:
Teacher jumbles up the rods and place at random on the table. She then points to any one rods and say ‘What is this?" and the child answer. She repeats for the other two rods.
- When exercise is completed, the teacher shows the child how to place the Number Rods back to its original place on the shelf and explain to the child that the materials must be returned to its place so that others may work on it. He may work on the material anytime he wishes to on his own.
- Gradually, the child will learn up to 10 with the introduction of three rods at a time with one rod from the previous lesson and two new ones, for e.g. One, two, three in the first lesson and then three, four, five in the second lesson and so on till ten. If the child forgets some of them, use the Three Period Lesson to teach him again. Remember to count slowly.
Individual Exercise :
- The child can take the number rods anytime he wishes to build and count the rods up to ten.
- Instead of building the stair the method shown above, we can also build them in a graph format as shown in fig. 1.5.
- Play a game. Ask the child to close their eyes. Teacher takes away one rod. Ask child to open their eyes and find which is missing
The Spindle Box
Description of Materials:
- A wooden box with ten compartments. The numerals 0 to 9 written at the back of the box.
Note : The difference between the Number Rods and the Spindle Box is
- With the Number Rods, the quantity is fixed and the numerals are loose
- With the Spindle Box, the numerals are fixed and the quantities are loose.
- Zero is introduced.
- To give the child further practice in associating each numeral with the right number situation.
- To introduce the number and concept of 0.
Control of Error:
- There are exactly 45 spindles for the box. The child places the number of spindles associated with the numerals at the back of the box and when he reaches 9, if he finds too many or too few spindles to be placed into the compartment, then he will know that he had make a mistake and he can check his work and correct his error.
- 0, 1 to 9
- 3 and above.
- Teacher invites the child to the shelf and introduces her to the Spindle box. Teacher invites the child to select a working place on the table and then shows the child how to carry the materials to the selected working place.
- Teacher place the materials on the table. Teacher points and read the numbers at the back on the box, starting from 0 to 9 and the child repeats after her.
- Teacher and child remove all the spindles from the compartment and place them in front of the box on the table.
- Teacher takes one spindle, grab hold of it in the left hand and say "1". Then, she places it in the compartment numbered 1. She repeats the same for 2 and 3.
- Teacher encourages the child to carry on with the rest of the spindles
- When child finishes, the teacher points to the compartment numbered 0 and say "0 means nothing, so we do not place any spindles in this compartment."
- When the exercise is completed, teacher shows the child how to place the materials back to its original place on the shelf. Teacher explains to the child that the materials must be returned to its place so that others may work on it and that he may work on the materials anytime he wishes to, on his own.
- Place all the spindles correctly in the Spindle Box except perhaps 2 compartments. Invite the child to spot the mistake. The child will have to count and check each compartment to find the mistake.
- Invite the child to close their eyes. Place a bundle of spindles in their hand. They may use both hands. Ask them to feel and count the spindles and to tell you how many they have in their hands. By closing their eyes and depending on just their feeling of the spindles, it gives them a better feel of the quantity they have in their hand as the number increased.
- To give the child further practice in associating each numeral with the right number situations and to reinforce the concept of zero.
- "Can you clap for me 5 times? "
- "Can you come to me 0 times ?"
- "Can you stamp your feet 3 times ?"