Whether indirectly or directly, we cannot deny that children have been exposed to Math since they were very small. Questions such as: ‘How old are you?’, ‘What is your birthday?’ have indirectly mention Math to children.
Math is the most abstract concept that the brain has to think of. Numbers cannot define themselves but our minds have to define them through learning process and experiences. It would be great if a child has interests with Math since he/she was very young.
Montessori Method will help children expose to Math through 4 basic concepts: arithmetic, geometry, statistics and calculation. Regular counting lessons will be the most familiar and natural method to help children count. Children rarely have interests for learning Math in the natural way therefore, adults need to have timely methods to enlarge their Math interests.
Mrs. Maria Montessori – the founders of Montessori Method thought that Math is the intelligence that need to be nurtured by absolute accuracy. Let children expose with surrounded environment to establish their mind map, this will help children to adapt to the changes of surrounded environment and at the same time, children will have faster intelligence when exposing to Math.
Montessori Method divides Math lessons into 6 groups: groups that need to learn independently, groups that can learn with other groups. The first group learns to count from 1 to 10, children will learn independently and this lesson will teach children about decimal number. Counting lesson from 1 to 10 will help children know about the hierarchy and function of numbers. After done with this group, children are able to calculate basic operations under 10. When children are experts in counting from 1 to 10, they will learn with the third group, it is to count in tens, hundreds. The third group is actually the upgradation of the first one. The job when joining the fourth group is to remember all the numbers included in the 3 previous groups. Concepts such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division will be taught in the fifth group. In this period, children have to be skilled in the 4 period groups and good at the fifth group. When in the fifth group, children rarely use materials. They can write number and operation in notebooks instead of materials. The last group is learning about fraction. This group can learn with the fifth group. It is important to ensure that they can learn in this group without feeling tired and overload.
Teachers or parents also need to have good knowledge about Math when teaching children and prepare lessons carefully before teaching them. Mrs. Maria once again emphasizes that we need to creative enthusiasm for kids when learning Math. Therefore, we should not impose our thoughts on children. We should only encourage them, let children see that learning can be an adventure. Therefore, teaching and learning will be a lot easier.