Monday 29 December 2014


Montessori Activity: Static Addition Without Golden Beads - Vertical Presentation

Age: From 5 years old

1. Worksheets
2. Pencil and eraser

1. Start with single digit addition questions.

2. Show your child how to read the question by reading it to your child. E.g.

                                                                 + 3

(You could also show him the horizontal presentation first, and then write it in vertical presentation, for him to see the relation)

3. If your child could not derive the answer mentally without golden beads, teach him to draw "o's" to represent the quantity in place of the golden beads.

4. Ask your child to count the "o's" and show your child to write the answer on the unit place value space.

5. Ask your child to read the question and the answer again.

6. Let your child try with the next single digit question.

7. Move on to double digit addition questions.

8. Show your child how to read the question from left to right E.g.

                                                                + 24
                                                                    ?? <---

9. Put an arrow to the left of the space where the unit place value shall be and explain that when answering addition problems, start from the unit place value.

10. Starting from the unit place value, ask the child, what is 5+4=? Your child should say 9. If he has difficulties, encourage him to draw "o's" to represent each quantity next to the number.

11. Ask your child to write the answer "9" onto the unit place value answer space:

                                                                + 24
                                                                   ?9 <---

12. Move to the ten place value, and ask your child what is 2+2=? Your child should say 4. If not, encourage your child to draw appropriate number of "o's" next to the respective number.

13. Explain that the answer "4" is at the ten value place, and thus it represent "40".

14. Ask your child to write the answer "4" onto the ten place value answer space.

                                                                + 24
                                                                    49 <---
15. Ask your child to read the question and the answer again.

16. Let your child try with the next double digit question.

17. Do the same for the triple digit and quadruple digit addition questions.

Video Demonstration (in Chinese only):

Additional Information:
The golden bead materials are good to provide a very concrete illustration for teaching Maths. However, at some point, the child needs to be able to reduce his dependence on golden beads and move towards abstraction. This method, which I have learned from Brilliant Minds Montessori, is an excellent way to transit towards abstraction and mentally doing the addition.

Our Little FECS (5Y9M24D) tried this for the first time today 29 Dec. 2014. He could do the sum mentally and refuses to use the "o's", although I still want him to practise drawing x's. He has the tendency to forget that he should add by adding the unit place value to the far left and has to be reminded. He got a little confused with reading the question, and he tried to read it from the left. So I have to explain again to read from the right and add from the left. More practise will be needed. I suggested to see how long he would take for each question, and he suggested to use the stopwatch. So I went downstairs to fetch the stopwatch. For each practise sum that he did, he improved in the time taken.

The full curriculum and sequence of introduction is available from Brilliant Minds Montessori, which is available from Amazon:

Static Addition without Golden Beads - Thousand Place Value

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