Updated: 1 day ago
You might be wondering how to best choose, present, and enhance math printables so that they provide the most benefit and enjoyment for your child. Here are 4 things to get you started:
OBSERVE YOUR CHILD TO MEET THEM WHERE THEY ARE
It is exciting to look through a new set of printables when you buy a Mega Bundle! It is easy to prep many things at once, but later you might find that your child isn’t interested in everything. That’s why it is essential to observe your child at play and work. Themed printables are great, but if they are too easy or too hard, they will not hold your child’s interest as they don't serve a purpose to them right now. Try watching your child interact with their toys or materials and make notes about what they choose to do and how they do it. Note questions they might ask you or things they might mention. Then choose the math printables that not only fit the topic they might like, but also the level of math they are processing right now.
ISOLATE CONCEPTS TO FOSTER CONCENTRATION
Many printables cover many topics in one bundle of materials, which can be overwhelming if introduced all at once. Try choosing one math concept to work on and offering 1-2 activities to the child that all cover that concept. Another aspect of concept isolation is how you display the printable. Choose a low shelf and offer the printables together with any accompanying materials displayed on a tray or box lid. The whole activity belongs together and can be taken from the shelf and cleaned up easily. The child doesn’t have to be distracted looking for items they need when they choose to work with the printable. Try offering only a few activities on the shelf at a time. You can rotate new activities as you observe your child over time.
ADD CONTROL OF ERROR TO FOSTER INDEPENDENCE
Classic Montessori materials foster independence by control of error. Control of error is whatever part of the activity that allows a child to see when they have correctly completed the activity. Most math printables don’t have control of error, so one way to enhance them is to add it. For example, you can add stickers on the back of number clip cards to mark the correct answer. When the child marks a number, they can check their work by looking for the sticker. Another example is cutting counting cards into little puzzles with different patterns. This allows the child to immediately see if the matches are correct.
PROVIDE MANIPULATIVES TO ACTIVATE THE SENSES
Montessori focuses on making math hands-on using physical manipulatives. You can use whatever you already have, like wood blocks, marbles, glass beads, or any collection of similar-looking items that can be counted. Any time your child is working with printables where they need to count amounts, offer the exact number of manipulatives they need to finish the activity. For example, if you offer a skip counting puzzle in 2s, you would need 20 objects they can lay out in pairs of 2 underneath each strip so they can visually see the amount each number stands for and internalize a visual image of the increase by 2. By only offering the amount they need, this adds control of error via manipulatives, as they will clearly see they made a mistake somewhere if items are left over when they are finished.