Friday 16 May 2014


Montessori Activity: Addition Board (加法 [jiāfǎ])


I learned how to make the Addition Board from Montessori Live Educator Training Program.

AGE: 4.5 to 6 years (after the child has worked with numerals and counters)


1. To teach counting and addition of the unit place value in a concrete manner.
2. To teach the definition of addend (加数 [jiā shù]): a number to be added to another (Addend + Addend = Sum) (加数加加数等于总和)


1. Homemade Addition Board using drawing block and red ribbon, red being the Montessori color for addition and making sure that your child associates the color of red with addition
2. 1 cup with glass pebbles
3. 1 set of number cards or number tiles (optional)
4. 1 set of equation cards (optional, you can also write the equation on a piece of paper)
5. 1 addition worksheet/paper, 1 pencil and eraser
6. 1 mat


1. Lay out the materials on the table.

2. Have your child read the first equation card: “3+4=?”

3. Have your child pick the first addend 3 glass pebbles, count them and place them on the first addend position on the addition board.

4. Have your child pick the second addend pink 4 glass pebbles, count them and place them on the second addend position on the additiona board.

5. Have your child label the addends with the number cards 3 and 4 respectively.

6. Have your child move the glass pebbles to the sum position on the addition board and say, "Addend plus addend equal sum."

7. Have the child count the total number of beads: “1,2,3…7” and label it with the number 7 card.

8. Ask the child write or paste the result onto the equation and say: “3+4=7”.

9. Return the pebbles and encourage your child to try the different combinations from the worksheet.



1. Verification by the teacher.
2. Addition Control Chart.


Other materials may be substituted for the glass pebbles such as milk carton caps, shells, buttons and so on.

For addition of ten place value, you can also use the golden beads and colored bead stairs:

29 August 2014 (5Y5M24D) - Addition of ten place value


J (5y2m15d) tried this activity this morning. It is a little too easy for him, although I think it is good practice to burn the logic of addend plus addend equal sum into his memory. We used double digits sums to make it more challenging. Here I am using Lego number blocks instead of number cards:

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