This video shows how we use Montessori short bead chains. They are used for skip counting. An important preparation for multiplication

You can find our short bead chains in

Montessori short bead chains are very colourful. They like the rainbow in our classroom. All the chains are displayed beautifully with a wooden hanger

I made this hanger myself because I was not satisfy the store bought hanger. The store bought one is hard to put chains on/ off.

If you are interested, you can get the hanger in here

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It helps children's fine motor skill.

Children learn how to hold a knobbed cylinders and use the same skill to hold a pencil. This work prepares them for handwriting later. The video shows how to hold a knobbed cylinders.

Fraction is a key learning chapter in Math. In Canada, school introduce the concept of fraction in grade 3/4. In our classroom, we introduce fraction in Pre-k / K.

That’s the first time princess do fraction skittles. We talk about ‘whole’ and ‘part of whole’

With the color coded materials, princess matches the cards with skittles.

With the fraction skittles, princess see 2 fourth skittles are equal to 1 halve skittle. That’s the magic of Montessori material. The materials are so well designed. Children get the math concept through the work.

If you are interested, we have our fraction skittles in here

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I recently developed some task cards to go with our fraction skittles

I used these fraction skittles to introduce the concept of fraction.

Children can hold the skittles, feel what is the meaning of a whole

Child put the skittles on the task card and find the matching symbol for it

**Putting skittles back to the tray is a learning opportunity**

Hannah put the skittles into the tray. I told her there is no rule on how it should be placed as long as all skittles are on the tray. Here is what she did.

**If you want to follow Montessori Manual, the skittles should be placed in sequence.

Left to right: a whole, half, one third and quarter

For me, I prefer to provide open questions for my students to explore.

She made two quarters and one half to make a whole (one circle)

During the process of putting skittles back, she realized that 1/3 and 1/2 are not friend. It is impossible to put 1/3 and 1/2 to complete a whole (one circle)

1/4 and 1/2 are good match.

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In our classroom, I let children try materials when they show interest.

Today, princess has interest on the long division material. Therefore, I use the material to introduce division. Well, princess only knows basic addition and subtraction and no knowledge of multiplication. Instead of using the inverse of multiplication, we introduce ‘fair sharing’

Fair sharing – all beads are shared for all skittles and everyone should have the same amount of beads

To make it more interest, we pick one equation and play doctor game.

The question is 20 divided by 4

Princess is the doctor. There are 20 pills and 4 sick people. Doctor needs to distribute the pills to the patients.

In this case, each patient has 5 pills.

Doctor gives instruction that patients only take one pill per day, then princess said they need 5 days to finish all the pills.

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In Montessori classroom, rug / mat is the first material a child will start with.

A child learns to roll and unroll a mat for his/her work area.

The mat defined the work area. A child roll a mat to start his/her work.

After the work, he/she roll up the work and the cycle is completed.

I don’t see the use of the mat at the first beginning. After working in Montessori environment several years, I appreciate the use of the mat. It completes the work cycle. That’s an important concept for a child. It should be for all of us as well.

If you have children at home, it is common to have incomplete Lego/ books/ craft. Children may work on their craft for ten mins and want to jump to Lego table right away. A work cycle can help a child to be more organized.

A child decides his/her work in the classroom.

Start: roll out the mat. Bring all the materials to the mat

–>Work

–>Cleanup: Put all the materials back and roll up the mat

When a child used to complete the work cycle in the classroom, they apply the same work cycle during their play time.

**Bring out the toy–> play–>put the toy back.**

I found it is more efficient to work on the work cycle rather than keep calling children putting their stuff back.

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