In the Montessori classroom, Mathematics is introduced through concrete materials to abstract materials.
Children at the first plane of development are Sensorial explorers. These concrete materials help children to understand the concepts of quantity and group operations through their senses.
As they have experiences in these concepts, abstract materials will be introduced. These abstract materials help children to understand the essential combination of numbers which allows children to solve mathematics quickly without the use of materials.
“We have to let children experience the beauty of arithmetic… it is always something to discover and to perceive by the hand before being understood by the mind.” – Philip D. O’Brien, from the introduction to Psychoarithmetic by Maria Montessori.
“Movement, or physical activity, is thus an essential factor in intellectual growth, which depends upon the impressions received from outside.
Through movement, we come in contact with external reality, and it is through these contacts, we eventually acquire even abstract ideas.” ~ Maria Montessori
“There is not just a need for happier schools, schools where the children are free to do as they like or schools where they use certain materials: education today needs reform. If education is to prepare man for the present and the immediate future, he will need a new orientation towards the environment. ” – Maria Montessori
“In our work, therefore, we have given a name to this part of the mind which is built up by exactitude; we call it the ‘mathematical mind.’”
– Dr Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind
This activity gives the child practice with counting the beads and handling the beads. It promotes auditory perception and visual discrimination, as well as this activity, provides the child with practice in finding specific amounts.