Like all Montessori classrooms, Mathematics materials in Pre-Elementary class are extensive, always beginning with the concrete towards abstract which allows a child continual challenge and growth in the area. Under the age of 5-6 years old, almost of our children have the good capacity to reason, calculate, and estimate. Thus, we keep improving their learning of operations and memorization.
Firstly, our children learn the decimal system by first gaining a firm understanding on quantity. We do this by presenting a variety of work, including beads and cubes to represent units. Students also learn to name individual categories, such as units, tens, hundreds, and thousands. The work students do in seeing, understanding, and handling the physical numbers themselves helps them show relationships between categories and visualize the sizes of these categories, and count categories. To support students understand how large numbers interact, we use a series of materials that become increasingly abstract over time until they use pencil and paper to solve.
The abstract work is presented when children have a firm comprehension of concepts. The work is focused on abstract ideas about how numbers behave, including calculating and memorizing and operation of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. There are many materials we use that repeat these concepts and invite a variety of other topics children are learning about at this age. Providing a child with the materials at precisely the right challenge level will enable the child to demonstrate his development to the teacher through his progress. Math itself is an abstract concept, but if these abstract concepts are put into a concrete material that the child can manipulate, they are able to learn those concepts at a much younger age, and have them stick with them for a long time. Thus, our children really love Math.