THE PREPARED ENVIRONMENT
Numeracy is just as important as literacy.
The Mathematics Area
Montessori believes that numeracy is just as important as literacy. The building blocks for understanding the numerical techniques of mathematics should be as foundational as the building blocks for learning how to speak, write and read.
The mathematic materials have many properties that are presented to the child in order of increasing complexity. They are accurate, hold foundational concepts, encourage exploration and possess their own control of error.
The children learn first to recognise the quantities 0 - 9999 and then the corresponding numerical
representations (i.e. numbers). In this way numbers possess meaning and weight. The children then learn how to manipulate these numbers with addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. At first these manipulations occur with the use of very concrete sensorial materials, but slowly the manipulations become more abstract.