Montessori Maths

Courtesy of Tula – thank you very much!!! – who is going to add more to this as well – bless her! As soon as I started creating this page I realised photos and descriptions of the materials were going to be vital – so i am looking for some online sites for the short term and will do some photos of the materials i have as well, to try and make it all a bit clearer. But in the mean time, have a look at the main Montessori page (which has some general drawings and links to sites)and in particular Shu Chen Jenny’s page which describes them excellently.

See also Montessori Zero Lesson

“Dr Montessori designed concrete materials to represent all types of quantities, after she observed that the child who becomes interested in counting likes to touch or move the items as he enumerates them. In a Montessori environment, a child not only sees the symbol for ’1′, ’1000′ or ½, he can also hold each of the corresponding quantities in his hand.”

‘A Parent’s Guide to the Montessori Classroom’ p.39 – Aline Woolf

This is a list of some of the Practical Life and Sensorial activities that will have a great impact upon the child’s further explorations into mathematics. They are a fundamental part of the Montessori Curriculum and should not be rushed through in order to get on to either the Maths or Language material. The more experience the child has of these exercises, the easier their understanding and cognitive development.

Practical Life

Name of Activity
Preparation for…
Sorting objects Classification
Pegs Order and sequence
Threading Order and sequence
Folding mats Fractions
Weighing Weight and concept of ‘equal’

The exercises of Practical Life all encourage concentration, order, independence and self-correction. All of this will be an important basis on which the child is prepared for mathematics and problem solving.


Name of material
Preparation for…
Knobbed cylinders Dimension order and shape
Pink Tower Dimension, order, metric size, height
Broad Stair Width, size, order, shape
Long Rods Length, order, direct preparation for Number Rods
Knobless Cylinders Dimension, order, height
Baric Tablets Weight
Stereognostic materials Size, 3D shape, weight, sets, order, classification
Geometric Cabinet Plane shapes, concept of concrete to abstract ideas &
Geometric Solids Sets, shape, size, movement
Binomial Cube Shape, problem solving, algebra
Constructive Triangles Shape, size, angles
Tessellation Area, shape, size