The Montessori Number Rods

Monday, March 6, 2017

I love Montessori math materials.  They are so engaging and well thought of that  the child can easily absorb concepts and retain what is learned.  Take for example this Number Rods which I recently  introduced to Vito.  We are mostly using counters in our math activities, it’s more abstract and quantitative.  With Number Rods, counting here is more linear and sequential. My goal was for Vito to learn:

  • how to sequence  ‘one’ to ‘ten’ (they form a staircase)
  • to understand the value of each number


I presented the materials to Vito first by creating a stair of rods with the number symbol at the bottom.  Here we counted from one to ten (going up) and counting backwards (going down).  As we count, Vito would remark that the rods are getting “bigger” or getting “smaller” when we’re going down the stairs.  Here the child learns that the longer rods relate to big numbers and shorter rods relate to small numbers.DSC_9632

After the presentation, he wanted to make his own staircase.  He can easily sequence the lower numbers, but for the longer rods (greater than five), he needed to count the sections so he can place them in the right order.  This is really great because it encourages him to count!


Once he’s done, we identified the rods and named them with their number symbols.


When he got tired of the counting, we moved on to making patterns! We are using the patterns from Montessori Print Shop and the first pattern Vito picked was the “letter V”. 


We worked on this by taking turns.  It was fun! To him, this was just a game!


Yeah, and we made some more!




We worked on this for a few days each week (some are just passing) and his interest waned by the end of February.  So I decided to put this aside for now and work on the short bead stairs again this March


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