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Mathematics is the most eye opening of the entire Montessori curriculum. It is full of fascinating and beautiful hands on materials that bring the mathematical concept to life. The goal of Dr. Montessori was not just to teach the children the children to recognize numbers and calculate but enable them to think logically. The mathematics materials develop the child mathematical mind, the ability to reason abstract, investigate, calculate, and measure and also exactness. Her mathematical materials allow the children to begin their mathematical journey from concrete to abstract idea” The mathematical mind has a foundation Maria Montessori said that a mathematical mind was “a sort of mind which is built up with exactness.” The mathematical mind tends to estimate, needs to quantify, to see identity, similarity, difference, and patterns, to make order and sequence and to control error. All children have human tendencies that are related directly to the mathematical mind. Montessorians recognize the necessity for order and exactness. We place materials quite intentionally on trays, we color code activities, materials are displayed in a logical sequence, and we break down movements during presentations into series of sequential steps. Children practice calculation skills when determining how much water to pour or precisely how many drops of polish to squeeze out of a dropper. The practical life exercises have been described as the corner stone of Montessori development The Practical life exercises in everyday living skills help the child to improve his fine motor skills, eye-hand co-coordination and concentration. The activities are familiar tasks to their home settings, such as pouring, transferring, sweeping or even cleaning the shoes. For example, the child begin with simple pouring exercises such as pouring beans from jug to jug then progress to more complex exercise like pouring water into a bottle with a funnel. These simple exercises prepare the child indirectly for mathematical concepts such as volume and capacity. It is through these repeated activities that they develop the concentration needed to accomplish the more academic activities found in the Math and Language areas. The Practical Life area provides numerous materials to assist in the development of strong motor skills. Children seem to possess an inner drive to achieve self-perfection, which is why a child working in the Practical Life area can often be seen repeating the same activities over and over. This repetition will assist in developing the motor skill necessary for writing. Children yearn for activities that allow them to be independent. The materials found in the Practical Life area are designed so the child may complete them without the assistance of an adult. Activities that focus on developing the skills necessary to care for one’s self and their environment also promote independence in their everyday settings. This increased independence gives the child the confidence they need to try more and more complex activities. The Practical Life activities meet a child’s need for a sense of order which becomes important as the child progresses. These purposeful activities help to assist children in their development: physically, cognitively, socially and emotionally. They increase the children’s attention span, help them to understand achieving objectives through set sequence and gain a sense of “I can do it” independence. These Practical life exercises ultimately help the children with three basic mathematical skills: exactness, calculations and repetition. The infant and young child observes and experiences the world sensorial. From this experience the child abstracts concepts and qualities of the things in the environment. These concepts allow the child to create mental order. The child establishes a mental map, which supports adaptation to the environment and...
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