Decimal Breakthrough

As most of my tutoring students are from a non-Montessori background I do not always get an opportunity to introduce as many of the maths materials as I would like. Some materials are adaptable for any setting, others need that foundation from the start to give the child context. In all honesty I have been hesitant to introduce some (maybe most) of the math materials to these students for fear of muddying the waters.

Recently I had some success with the decimal board. Although I did not present this the same way I would for a Montessori student, I was surprised how quickly the student grasped the concept and logic of the colour coding found in Montessori maths. 

The student, who had previously struggled with decimal work, was quick to see the relationships and their confidence grew relatively fast. We worked with the board for several weeks, reviewing some questions from their school work and the student used the board independently to complete some homework. 

I was thrilled with the marked improvement and will not be so hesitant in the future to introduce more Montessori materials for my non-Montessori students. On reflection I think it is a matter of having more faith in the principles of Montessori for all students -observe, observe, observe and follow that child!

Featured Links

New link up opens on the first Wednesday of each month and is open for three weeks. Link your post relating to the child on the second plane of development (6 - 12) - whether it is a lesson, activity, practical life or home life.

Fundamental Needs {It's Elementary! Link Up #3}

Dr Montessori was captivated by how man's needs have remained constant through time and across cultures and how man has simply changed the way these universal needs are met.

The focus of the Fundamental Needs of People work is to bring to the consciousness of the child that all human being have the same needs from early man to now. This work provides the framework for exploring the history of humans.

There are two aspects to this work:

Horizontal Study - (usually 6-9) focuses on a specific time period e.g. Stone Age, Ancient Egyptian, Middle Ages, etc

FNOP - Ancient Egypt

Vertical  Study - (usually 9-12) the focus is on researching how one need has changed over time, the progress of civilisation.

FNOP - Food

This work can provide a spring board for many discussions, not just history - I have often used it to introduce topics such as nutrition and health.

This work ties in closely with People of Climatic Zones, Timeline of Humans, The Hand Timeline, Red and White Timeline (BCE/CE), Interdependencies Chart,  and leads into work with the Migration Charts.


- creating own chart, draw or cut out from magazines images for each of the fundamental needs
- allow children to explore their interests, e.g. the history of toys, computers or bicycles
- make mud bricks or model dwellings
- red and white timeline used in conjunction with cards of a particular need (vertical study)
- write a play to perform
- create own timelines (could include diagrams, images, data)
- the possibilities are endless as the charts are a blue print for researching all aspects of history and cultures.

It's Elementary!