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Education - Early Childhood - Essay Example

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Early Childhood Date Early Childhood "This system in which a child is constantly moving objects with his hands and actively exercising his senses, also takes into account a child's special aptitude for mathematics. When they leave the material, the children very easily reach the point where they wish to write out the operation…
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Education - Early Childhood
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Early Childhood Early Childhood "This system in which a child is constantly moving objects with his hands and actively exercising his senses, also takes into account a child's special aptitude for mathematics. When they leave the material, the children very easily reach the point where they wish to write out the operation. They thus carry out an abstract mental operation and acquire a kind of natural and spontaneous inclination for mental calculations" (Montessori, 2004). Montessori believes that math should be introduced to young children as “materialized abstractions”. In the Montessori method, the mathematics curriculum is reality based and concrete materials are used to present abstract mathematical concepts. Colorful materials are used to lure children to understand mathematics. One example of this is the use of number rods. The objective of this activity is to introduce the child to counting from 1 to 10 using whole quantities and to make the child aware of the sequence and quantitative relationship of numbers 1 to 10. Through the number rods, the child is also introduced to the verbal number names. The number rods are composed of 10 wooden rods varying in length from 10 centimeters to 1 meter. Each rod is colored in an alternating red and blue pattern. The first rod is red. The second, which is 20 centimeters divided into two 10 centimeter sections, is red and blue. The rods go on until the last rod is divided into 10 sections that are alternating red-blue in color. The Three Period Lesson is introduced by the teacher using the rods. The Three Period Lesson will introduce the names of the numbers in association with its quantities. “The advantage of this material it that it is possible to present united together, though distinct and countable, the units composing each of the numbers which they represent” (Montessori, 2004). The decimal system is introduced in the Montessori method through the use of the golden beads bar. The golden beads bar introduces the child to the decimal system with concrete representations of the hierarchy of numbers. Quantity and place value is explored through activities in the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. The golden beads are arranged in unit beads (one bead each), ten bars (ten beads on a wire), hundred squares (ten ten bars in a square) and thousand cubes (ten hundred squares stacked). Children explore the equivalencies of the decimal system as students exchange each level of place value golden bead symbols for its equivalent material. The golden beads attract the young child to build and work with large numbers. Most linear counting activities use the colored bead materials. The child learns that things in math are linear and follow a definite pattern. The child works with the colored bead stair, the snake game, teens and tens boards, the hundred board, and finally the squaring and cubing chains. These activities show patterns that run through different numbers; they also encourage skip counting and other mathematical relationships. Another Montessori material used to introduce the concept of numbers is the large number cards. The large number cards are large white or wooden cards with the numbers 1 through 9000 written on the cards. The numbers 1 through 9 are written in green, the numbers 10 through 90 in blue, 100 through 900 in red and 1000 to 9000 in green. The cards are used to make any number ranging from 1 to 9999. They also are proportionately sized, so that the tens cards are twice as long as the ones cards, the hundreds cards are three times as long as the ones cards and the thousands cards are four times as long. The use of these cards will initiate the concept of the decimal system. They also help the child practice writing, reading and correctly marking large numbers. The sensorial approach is used in the introduction of mathematics to the child. As described above the use of beads with different depth, weight and quantity helps the child with some of the abstract concepts of mathematics. The use of number rods is also a sensorial approach to mathematics since the child observes the different lengths and colors of the rods. The materials used in the introduction of mathematics in the Montessori method begin with concrete experiences then moves towards the abstract. These concrete experiences are developmentally appropriate ways for the child to explore mathematics. It is through the sensorial impressions of the child that he gets to learn the mathematical concepts and movements that eventually supports his learning experience. References Montessori, M. (2004). The discovery of the child. Delhi, India: Aakar Books. Read More
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