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Sample Article for Math
Montessori Math:  Golden Bead Addition

This exercise is introduced in the Primary Class to children around the age of four to five, but we
find it a very useful review for children who are making the transition to working with larger
numbers and new math concepts.

The Golden Bead Tray contains at least ten each of unit beads, ten bars, hundred squares, and
thousand cubes.    

Material needed:
  • Golden bead tray.
  • A set of cards with numbers 1-9; 10-90; 100-900, and 1000-9000.
  • A box of numerical signs that include signs for addition, subtraction, division,
    multiplication, and equal.
  • A box of addition problem cards with small numbers that do not exceed nine when
    added.  In this example, we use 2358 + 7220 = __  .   Changing numbers exceeding ten
    will be covered later.   
  • One small empty tray.
  • Three small mats for floor work.   

What to do:
  1. Invite your child to try this exercise.
  2. Invite your child to play the banker.
  3. You and your child share the set up process, bringing the mats and trays to the floor.
  4. Your child will take the Golden Bead material off of the tray and arrange it on one mat.
  5. You can arrange the number cards on the second mat.
  6. Your child takes an equation out of the box and reads it aloud.
  7. Your child then places beads equivalent to the first part of the equation on the small
    tray.  Using the example above, the small tray would now contain eight unit beads, five
    ten bars, three hundred squares, and two thousand cubes.
  8. On the third mat, your child places the card for this part of the equation on the left and
    the beads (lined up in order) on the right.
  9. Your child repeats the process for the next part of the equation, taking beads for 7220
    and placing them below the other beads.
  10. You can place the addition sign to the left of the second number in the equation (just
    where you would write it on paper).
  11. Ask your child to add the numbers by counting from the unit beads.
  12. Your child should count eight unit beads, seven ten bars, five hundred squares, and nine
    thousand cubes. Each time your child totals a number, have him or her put the
    equivalent number card below the first two number cards, starting with the eight card.
  13. You can take turns playing the banker or you can let your child work through each
    problem alone, depending on how your child likes to work.
  14. You and your child can share the clean up process.  

Note that when we set up math exercises, the units are on the farthest right and the highest
number is on the farthest left.  If you have the number, 9875, there will be five unit beads on the
right, seven ten bars to the left of the beads, eight hundred squares to the left of the bars, and
nine thousand cubes to the left of the squares.  Just like the number is displayed in print.  
Number cards are set up the same way.

If your child covers this material easily, you can increase the size of the numbers to ten
thousands, hundred thousands, and millions.    

Sample Article for Language and Reading
Language: Positive, Comparative, Superlative

This exercise is easy to set up and incredibly useful in the process of developing a strong
language skills base.

Create the following word cards for these seven sets:
  • Positive, Comparative, Superlative (title cards)
  • big, bigger, biggest
  • small, smaller, smallest
  • tall, taller, tallest
  • short, shorter, shortest
  • thick, thicker, thickest
  • thin, thinner, thinnest

You will need a box for the cards and rubber bands for each set.

What to do:
  1. Invite your child to try this exercise.
  2. Spread the cards out on the table.
  3. Identify the three cards to make a set.  First, find one card in the set, such as big, and
    then identify the remaining two cards.
  4. Place “big” under the Positive title card. Ask your child which card comes next.
  5. Working with your child, place the next two cards under the title cards.
  6. Ask your child to try the next set.
  7. If your child forms the set easily, let him or her finish the exercise.
  8. Otherwise, work with your child and prompt him or her to think about the words in each
    set.  
  9. Your child can now either write down the words in order or put the exercise away and
    save the writing part for later.

Create new sets of words to replenish the box as needed.

Sample Article for Fractions
Montessori Lesson for Teaching Fractions

Montessori classrooms use a number of different pieces of equipment to help children internalize
the concept of fractions.  These fractional insets are easy to present and make, so we are using
these.  Fractional skittles are also a good place to begin, if you have the chance to find a set.  
In this presentation, we assume your child has not been introduced to fractions.

Material needed:
  • A set of fractional insets or fractional inset cards (see picture)
  • A red pencil and drawing paper
  • A tray for carrying the cards  

For this exercise, print the cards on heavy paper and cut them into their parts.  The heavier the
paper, the better it is to handle. The paper outside the circle can be left intact to act as a
frame for the circle inside. Try to display all of the cards in a row on a shelf, if possible.

What to do:
  1. Invite your child to start this exercise.
  2. Ask your child to put the first five cards on the tray and bring them to the table.  You can
    bring the pencil and drawing paper.
  3. Line the cards up from left to right, starting with the whole circle on the left.
  4. Hand your child the whole circle.  Tell your child that “This is whole.”  Your child feels the
    whole circle.
  5. Hand your child one half of the next circle.  Feel the shape of the half circle.  Tell your
    child that “This is one half.”  
  6. Show your child how two halves fit on top of the whole, so that “They are the same.”   
    Hand the halves to your child so that he or she can feel them and then fit them on top
    of the whole circle.
  7. Repeat the process with the thirds (“This is one third”), the fourths (“This is one fourth”),
    and the fifths (“This is one fifth”).
  8. Show your child how the pieces of each fit into the frame of the whole and how the
    whole fits into the frames of the halves, thirds, fourths, and fifths.
  9. If your child is moving through this exercise very easily, ask him or her to trace the shapes
    onto drawing paper.  Otherwise, your child can continue handling the shapes as you ask
    him or her to show you different pieces.
  10. If your child has drawn the shapes, ask him or her to tell you how many whole, half, third,
    quarter, and fifth pieces there are in each drawing.
  11. Your child can put everything away when he or she is finished drawing.

At this point, it is most important for your child to handle and feel the pieces to better internalize
the concept of fractions.  This understanding will provide a good base for more difficult exercises
later.
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