The multiplication board was a hit with our older children this week. They were first introduced to the idea of multiplication ("fast adding") with the golden beads. Here we show them how to add quickly. "Two times three is just two, three times!" and we place the golden beads down on the mat in three groups of two. We bring them down to the bottom and add. Voila. They absorbed this idea so quickly, so the multiplication board was introduced. Here it is the same idea set up in a different way. Shown above, this child is working on "2 x 9" He fills in the beads as he goes along and is able to count to get the answer. This is an example of using the concrete Montessori materials to facilitate easy absorption of a more complex idea. These children will have a solid base of multiplication tables since they have worked with this material. They will not be afraid of math as they have so many experiences using concrete apparatus. One of the goals in our classroom is to help facilitate internal motivation to learn. The two children who worked with this material both told the teachers how much fun it was and requested it on their own. Learning can be a joyful experience!