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Added Mar 26, 2019

Montessori Monday: The Teen Boards

After the child has learned units from one through ten in the Bead Stair, he or she will be introduced to the Teen Board, an important  number building material in the math curriculum. Rather than learning the numbers from 11-20 by rote memorization, the Teen Boards allow the child to internalize the composition of those numbers by exploring the quantities concretely. 

In other words, by building both the numeral and the quantity, the child exploring this material will come to understand that "eleven" is the combination of a ten and a unit, "twelve" is the combination of a ten and two units, and so on up to nineteen. First, the child places the boards, slotted boards with the numeral "10" preprinted on them, on the mat. Then, he places a ten bar to match each numeral ten that he sees. Then, he builds those tens into new quantities by adding quantities from the Bead Stair. Finally, he labels those new quantities by sliding the appropriate unit numeral over the unit place on the board. Building the numerals and quantities this way reinforces place value and helps the child to understand concretely how our number system works. 

Eventually, the child will build numerals and quantities all the way through the thousands.If a child understands the place value relationship of units, tens, hundreds and thousands, he or she can perform seemingly complex mathematical calculations of two, three or four digit numbers as easily as counting to ten. 

Catherine McTamaney, Ed.D.

Christopher Academy Alumna

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