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Math

How to teach your child simple addition and subtraction

By Anitra

This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see the disclosure policy for more information.

I know what you’re thinking…a young preschool child cannot grasp the understanding and meaning behind addition and subtraction.  It is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate.  Well, what if I told you that you are ABSOLUTELY WRONG in your thinking!!  Children as young as four are capable of completing simple addition and subtraction problems.  It is all in the way it is presented to them.  Remember, presentation is EVERYTHING!!  Beginning lessons on simple addition and subtraction can be done once a child has mastered their numbers from one to twenty.  When I say mastered, I mean that if you show them random numbers (out of order) from one to twenty, they should be able to tell you what it is without hesitation.  I have however, scaled down and introduced and even simpler version of addition and subtraction using numerals from one to ten.

Depending on what lessons the child had already had, determines on which method of teaching addition I start with.  If a child has had lessons on learning and has mastered the one to nine bead stair and the teen bead stair, then I will introduce simple addition using the double bead stair.

The bead stair is a set of beads from one to nine with a colored bead that represents each number.  The 1 bead is red, the 2 bead is green, the 3 bead is pink, the 4 bead is yellow, the 5 bead is light blue, the 6 bead is purple, the 7 bead is white, the 8 bead is brown, and the 9 bead is dark blue.  The children are supposed to master recognition of numbers one to nine, as well as the color that corresponds with each number.

The teen bead stair introduces the 10 golden bead, and pairs it with the one to nine colored beads to master numbers eleven to nineteen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The double bead stair is just that.  It is a tray that contains two sets of bead stairs; one to ten.  The children use it to complete simple addition problems.  I write out problems in random order, and the children select the first number(corresponding bead) in the problem from the first bead stair, and the second number(corresponding bead) in the problem from the second bead stair.  I point out that the symbol in the middle of both numbers is a addition sign, and that we will be adding the numbers of both beads together.  I then have them count all of the beads, and write their answer in the empty box on their paper.  The beads are very close together, so  I give them a “bead counter” to use; which is just a bread bag tie broken in half!

 

The other way that I introduce simple addition is by using inexpensive glass beads.  I use these glass beads to introduce simple subtraction as well.  Just like in the other lesson, I write out random addition problems and have them get the correct number of counting beads for the first number.  I have them leave a small space, and then have them get the correct number of counting beads for the second number.  They then put them together, count them all, and write their answer in the empty box on their paper.

For simple subtraction, it is presented a little different.  I have to introduce new language to the child.  I use the words “take away” when first introducing subtraction so they know that is what they are going to need to do.  I also point out that the symbol in the middle is different than before; it is a “take away” sign. I again write out random problems, then have then get the correct number of beads for the first number.  Then I make it a point to remind them that we are going to “take away” the correct amount of beads for the second number.  They then write the answer in the empty box on their paper.

 

It is that simple!  Teaching simple addition and simple subtraction can be just that easy.  If you would rather not purchase the Montessori bead stair works or the beads, you can use whatever you have at home.  Spare change, small candies, beans; the product you use does not matter.  The process of doing the operations of addition and subtraction is what matters.  Just have fun with it and let your child learn from the materials you have!  Enjoy!

Anitra

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Math

Teach multiplication in a Primary classroom with ease

By Anitra

This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see the disclosure policy for more information.

Teaching a child in the Primary classroom multiplication probably sounds insane to those not understanding the logic of the lesson.  I have dealt with many skeptics about teaching any concrete math concept in a classroom full of children who are two and a half to six years old.  Obviously, the lesson, the terminology, and the approach on how it is taught is important.  In most Montessori classrooms, the order of operations is addition, multiplication, subtraction, and then division.  In reality, multiplication is just adding multiple times.  I introduce multiplication after a child has mastered the Bead Stair 1-10, simple addition (up to 10), addition (up to 20), the tens (up to100), and the Hundred Board (putting numbers in order and recognizing them from 1 to 100).  The most important part of this work is having the colors for the 1 to 10 Bead Stair memorized. The colors are as follows; 1 bead is red, 2 bead is green, 3 bead is pink, 4 bead is yellow,  5 bead is light blue, 6 bead is purple, 7 bead is white, 8 bead is brown, 9 bead is dark blue, and 10 ten is the golden bead.

 

The materials needed for this lesson is the Montessori Decanomial Bead BoxIt is also referred to the Montessori Multiplication Bead BoxThey also use a small felt mat, that I refer to as a Math Mat.  Next, I write out the problems.  There are many pre-printed multiplication fact forms, but I choose to write out my own each time.  I have noticed that with the pre-printed forms, they are sometimes in sequential order; which in my opinion; takes away from the purpose of the work.

 

The very first lesson is taught with the “1” bead from the bead stair.  In the first initial lesson, I also introduce the “2”, due to the fact that doing the times with the “1” is fairly simple, and most children; when introduced to this work; notice the pattern of the times with “1”.  I add in the times with “2” to show how each bead must be counted to get the answer.  As shown below, I put the number that they will times in the first box.  In the next box, is the times sign.  The next box has the number of times they should get the first number.  There is an equal sign, followed by the box where they will write their answer.

 

I normally end the lesson with the completion of times with “1” and times with “2”.  The sequential numbers are done one at a time after this.  Teaching the times is in no way implying that a child has mastered the multiplication tables.  It is just a way to introduce the concept of how multiplication is a form of adding multiple times.  With this lesson, children who complete this work will hopefully remember the basics of multiplying when they come across this skill again in the future.

Anitra

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