Friday, September 30, 2011

Math: Matching Quantity and Symbol

Many of our children are very interested in math!  They have entered their sensitive period for numbers and all things related (see post on sensitive periods).  The Montessori materials follow the developmental sequence of the child when they become interested in math.  We have heard many voices saying the numbers which is called rote counting.  This is when a child can repeat the numbers because they have memorized them. 

We have also seen some number recognition.  This is when a child can visually identify the number which we call the symbol.  (We use the sandpaper numerals.)

We are working toward 1:1 correspondence.  This is when a child can match the quantity to the symbol, for example, the number four with four items.  Once a child understands this concept, they are able to begin the  mathmatical operation of addition. 

1-1 correspondence up to 5- this is a good place to begin with those just entering into this type of activity
another 1:1 correspondence game with a die

table top number rods
Montessori cards and counters, matching quantity and symbol.

If your child is interested in numbers, take a few pinecones or leaves and count them.  In the beginning we may need to touch the object with our finger or four can become six.  The children are used to rote counting which can go faster than the finger can move.  If we stop on each one as we count, it reinforces the 1:1 correspondence.  Use refridgerator magnets as numerals and count pieces of fruit in the kitchen.  Place the number next to the amount.  There are many different activities you can do to help your child learn this concept.  As always, we never push the child to do work if they are not ready or interested.  If they are showing you signs of readiness, count away! 

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