A lot of time in Montessori we can get hooked up with 'following the manual.' Is this lesson like the one I learned in my training? Am I teaching it correctly? Is it the correct one in terms of scope and sequence?
However I want to encourage you to think about meeting the need of your children through the Montessori equipment.
Here in New Zealand at a certain mandated age level students are meant to learn about fractions of an amount e.g. a quarter of 40. We do not have any Montessori equipment that teaches that concept so I made up an activity myself.
I think it is so important to get the most of each piece of equipment and to think laterally. I was really inspired about writing this article after watching a workshop by Cathie Perolman on using the Moveable Alphabet in creative ways.
TEACHING FRACTIONS WITH THE STAMP GAME
You will need:
green skittles from stamp game
A picture of a cow
Before giving this presentation the child needs to:
•Know different constructions of 10 e.g. 10 can be 10 units or 1 set of 10. Know the same for 100 e.g. 100 is one hundred or 10 sets of 10.
•Know different constructions of numbers e.g. sixteen can be 16 units or 1x 10 and 6 units.
•Have worked with the fraction circles and know for instance that four quarters equal a whole, three thirds equal a whole
•Know that when dividing we share out the biggest hierarchy first.
•Be able to do very basic addition with fractions
A Farmer has twenty cows and two fields. She wants to put half the cows in each paddock. How many will that be? (Show picture of cow)
1)Ask how students could work out the answer - note , no stamp game yet, I always want to get an idea of what students know before bringing out the equipment - they may well have an idea which is better than mine! I also think this is vital in creating a positive class culture
2)Present the stamp game. Ask students to explain how they could work out the answer using stamp game – listen to suggestions
3)Get 2 green skittles. ‘Let’s say these are the two fields’
4) What could we use for the cows? (hopefully the students suggest the tiles! – if not tell them this is what to use)
5) There are 20 cows. What tiles could we use? (2 x 10 tiles or 20 unit tiles)
6) Demonstrate sharing them out equally: one to one skittle(field) one to the other skittle. At this point you may wish to bring out the fraction circles to show that half plus a half equal a whole and that you have done the same with the stamp game you have put HALF under each 'paddock'
7) Student counts how many under each skittle. Emphazise that they are equal
8) Say ‘the amount under one skittle is half’ The answer is 10, there would be 10 cows in each paddock.
9) Present similar questions
10) Present equation strips for students to find out answers
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