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environment is designed to encourage early mathematical exploration
with very concrete and practical activities that appeal to the youngest
learners. Practical Life and Sensorial materials prepare children for
formal math. Practical life activities provide children with hands-on
exercises in precision, concentration, order, sorting and counting.
The Sensorial materials offer practice in discriminating shapes,
classifying, seriating, correspondences and the concept and experience
The classroom environment is designed to support the day-to-day use of
math materials. We introduce any new material or concept with concrete,
sensorial activities that deepen the child's mathematical understanding.
The Montessori materials foster individual discovery and auto-didactic
learning. Children are encouraged to share their discoveries.
The multi-age setting is conducive to cooperative learning across age
groups. Teachers guide children in gaining developmentally appropriate
knowledge and skills on an individual basis, as well as in small or
large groups. From simple exercises of one-to-one correspondence
(How many cups are needed to offer juice to four friends?) to
subtraction (There are 36 children in our class but two people
are absent. How many children are here today?), the classroom
environment offers numerous opportunities for teachers to guide
children in their natural curiosity about numbers.
Our goal over the course of the three-year program is that each child
will have gained an understanding of small numbers (0-10), one-to-one
correspondence, quantities and simple shapes. Each student will be
able to count, compare, describe and sort objects, as well as develop a
sense of properties and patterns. A beginning sense of abstraction is
achieved by many five to six year olds. To this end, we cover the
six math strands described on the following pages.