Montessori and the concept of tens

While we have been doing a few different types of activities these past few weeks, I've really been concentrating on helping Ronan to master some math and language activities. Namely, teens, tens and blends.


He has a special aptitude for math and he really enjoys it (as opposed to say, language activities in which he could leave behind and allow Joey or I to read to him for the rest of his life)! He always wants to "do" math and it's a joy to show him these activities.


In a tradional Montessori classroom, the teens board and the tens board are connected and quite large. But, since this is home and I have small rugs (and didn't cut the numbers as large as the bead tens…), well, we made do with a few spaces in between. A small part of me thinks that it works a bit better.

With the tens, you teach them to equate the units (ten) to the written numeral – ten. And, gently remind them to count the tens as they go, "one ten, two tens, three tens, etc." After they've mastered the quanity to written numeral, then you can go ahead and give them the names of the numerals, i.e. "this is two tens or twenty."

We will continue to do this work over the next few weeks and reinforce the teen numbers (always a tricky one since the name is based on the number of units). And, I've finally gotten into the rhythm of remembering to set up movable alphabet work for Ronan – everyday. He needs everyday.


I had him look at the picture and I told him what it was (especially for putt and dump). Then, he attempted to spell them with the movable alphabet. He checked his work against the written labels and fixed the spellings. (Note: some Montessorians would put these two-letter words with spelling work, but some do not. He can read them just fine, but sounding them out is a bit more difficult — for obvious reasons). He had a hard time hearing some of the separate sounds in the words – especially dump and ring – something about the n and m sounds being so close to another letter. I've also realized that he needs to do his language work earlier in the day since he can't concentrate nearly as well after lunchtime.

We'll continue to work on these works next week – as a reinforcer and so that he can memorize the words. He seems to do a bit better with a whole language approach and I am trying to incorporate that as well.