Thursday 13 November 2008

Math materials

Let me start off by saying that this is the first time I have used the maths materials so I am certainly no expert and if anyone reading this sees that I am making a complete mess of things please point it out!

When I was doing my training I thought the maths section was great, I loved the idea that the abstract concept of numbers is also backed up with concrete, physical items. If I had been taught maths in this way I would have had a much easier time at school. I just didn't 'get it' when it was presented in an all abstract way. 

Back in March I decided to make a big purchase of Montessori materials, it included the wooden map puzzles and other items that I knew I couldn't make myself. The biggest problem was the maths materials, since I only have the one child using the materials I don't need to have EVERYTHING out on the shelf. So I sat down with my manual and wrote down exactly what equipment was needed for each presentation, the banking game uses the most materials, I think. I figured I could use one set of the small number rods initially then use both sets when he started with addition rather than by the number rods as well. For the numeration section (learning the concrete and abstract concept of numbers) I decided I could make or improvise most of it and so the number rods were the only 'real' equipment I bought, things like the spindle box, I made with two trays and a load of chopsticks :o)
For the gold beads, I just bought enough to cover the various presentations, I did consider making it all but then figured Ebi-kun would be graduating uni by the time I got it all finished!
If you are buying from IFIT they have two types of beads (G) cheap and (N) more expensive. We bought all (G) type, the beads are just fine, yellowish gold, plastic, look like fish eggs according to Ebi-kun. The (N) type are kind of matt gold. I ordered a 10 bar of the (N) type just to see the difference and asked Ebi-kun which one he liked and he said the (G) type :o)
Yesterday, I made the teen/ten boards. It was easy and only cost me ¥315, I haven't cut out the cards yet so I will post about them later.
Since I have yet to use all the materials I bought, I don't know whether my calculations were correct or whether later down the line I am going to be missing XY and Z but I have listed everything I bought, I also got the binomial and trinomial cubes.

If you don't have a manual to go by then you can find the maths presentations here.

All the things I bought - no, I am not rich but we did have money set on one side to buy him materials.

M.105.1 Small Number Rods with Number Tiles
M.114.1 Small Wooden Number Cards with Box (1-9000)
M.123.2 Addition Snake Game
M.108.1 Stamp Game
M.139.1 9 Wooden Thousand Cubes
M.140.1 45 Wooden Hundred Squares
M.159.2 45 Golden Bead Bars of Ten
M.158.2 45 Golden Bead Units
M.159.4 45 Golden Bead Bars of Ten
M.149.1 Colored Bead Stairs 1-9
M.157.5 Complete Bead Material Only
M.121.1 Multiplication Bead Board
M.122.1 Division Bead Board
M.149.2 Tray for Bead Stairs

Yesterday we didn't do much work, he is free to get out any of the equipment at anytime. He picked up the car parking game for a while, spent a lot of time 'reading' and doing puzzles and then sat for an age doing threading before asking if he could do his sewing - he was given a hand puppet to sew for his birthday, so that is his WIP at the moment :o).

The oven engineer is coming Saturday and I am now going to attempt to change the ink in the printer - never done it with this printer before. I want to print out the covers for some more kits to go into the shop. Talking of which, there is still time to enter the giveaway!


  1. Thank you dearly for your response. It gives me much needed focus. Perpetually grateful. :-)

  2. The only other thing I would suggest getting is not Montessorian but very useful - Unifix Cubes. I use them a lot at school ( a montessori Primary in England) and they are great!!



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