Montessori Math is the really one of the most iconic parts of the whole method. We all know and love the golden bead work, the rods, and the bead bars. They have taught thousands and thousands of young children to understand and love math! Here it is no different. Bunny loves math and Pup is starting to as well. However, as Bunny got older, the work of keeping up with all of the threads of the Montessori math work was too hard for me. So in order to keep up with her learning, I needed to find a curriculum. We started using Miquon math and she has been so happy! Miquon uses manipulative in their book, but the beads don’t always work. So we got the rods that the book uses, and Bunny loves them more then the beads! The beads are just like the bead bars, but with different colors. Much like the number rods, they are in metric units and get bigger with each number. So the one unit is one square centimeter. The two is 1×2 cm. You get the idea! There is no way to count the rod, but there is a ruler with a track that will show you the number of each rod. We use it to show the numbers changing with the functions too. Since Bunny loves these so much and I know Pup will start the same math as Bunny in first grade, I thought that it would be easier to show Pup her numbers with the rods instead of beads. With a slight bit of modification, the same Montessori presentations work out perfectly! We are working on the teens board and then we are going to start the golden beads (I will switch out the 10 bar for an orange 10 rod. With the other wooden 100s, and 1000s it will work out perfectly). She is very excited about both and I for one am happy to see her interested in math! I think that her ability to use the rods, like her sister, is a big motivator! Here are some pictures from her work with the rods this week!
So there you have our new favorite math material! I really think that they can be used as an alternative to the beads. One advantage is that they can be laid next to each other easily without rolling all over. Plus they stack into all sorts of fun ways (play is learning after all). And finally, they are SOOOOO much less expensive and teach the same things as the Montessori beads. A child quickly memorizes the colors of the Montessori beads and that is a part of learning the math. They do that with the rods as well. With the track they can easily see the number and count the sections below the number to “see” it. The rods we use are Cuisenaire Rods. You can see them here! Check it out and let me know what you think! Maybe it will make your Montessori math experience easier and less expensive! Happy Counting! 😉 I linked up to Montessori Monday! Stop by to see some amazing learning ideas!