Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Using the Abacus with the Montessori Sandpaper Numerals

Two 4 year boys wanted to use the Abacus today. Tanya came up with a great idea by pairing it with the Montessori sandpaper numbers. She brought them to the mat along with the abacus and the numbers. She then told the boys that they would take turn playing this game. She picked a sandpaper number randomly: 4. She asked one of the boys to name the card and then to count 4 beads on the abacus.

Tanya repeated the actions with the 2nd little boy. she picked number 5. Ruadhan recognises number 5 and says it loud, then move 5 beads on the abacus.


The abacus help kids become better counters and help them grasp the principles that will help them with addition and subtraction. Combined with the Montessori sandpaper numbers, the abacus help the children solidify the 1:1 correspondence skill and enhance their understanding of number value skills, such as matching Card 8 to 8 beads on the abacus.
Links to Aistear:
Exploring & Thinking -
  • Aim 2: the children used skills and strategies for  investigating and understanding. They were able to make connections and associations between what they already knew (numbers) and new learning (how to use the abacus). They showed great reasoning and ability to think logically by associating numerals and quantities.
  • Aim 3: the children  explored a new way to represent knowledge through symbols. They were able to associate symbols (numbers)  with the things they represent (the beads).
  • Aim 4: the children showed positive attitude towards learning by acting on their curiosity (the use of the abacus) and acting upon it (asking Tanya to help them use the abacus)