The great French philosopher Pascal demonstrated that the human mind by nature is a mathematical mind. It is interesting to find that all things created by man have a mathematical side. In order to create, we must be able to determine something; the determination in itself is a mathematical fact. If we think about things which seem to be far removed from Mathematics- music, for instance- even there, Mathematics creeps in by way of measure, rhythm and so forth. We find that poetry differs from prose, among other things, in the way the syllables are measured and counted for in each line. Even in dance, there is a rhythm, a measure, which compels us to recognise its kinship with Mathematics.
Introduction to Math
Math activities start when a child is approximately 4 years of age. It isolates and offers one difficulty at a time. The child has a mathematical mind, a natural ability to calculate. However, the strength and ability of the child’s mathematical mind depends on how the child uses it in the beginning- it depends on the child’s experiences. Our prepared environment and the mathematical activities give the child experiences to maximise his/her mathematical mind. The Math area is divided into 6 main groups:
Group 1: Numbers 1-10 – Introduction to Numbers
Group 2: Decimal System – Introduction to Categories
Group 3: Counting 1-1,000 – Introduction to Quantities
Group 4: Essential Combinations – Processes and Operations
Group 5: Passage to Abstraction – From Concrete to Abstract
Group 6: Fractions
The concept of numbers depends on experience. The concept is abstract and the child needs concrete experience. The Montessori approach gives the child concrete experience with the materials. Each material leads the child more and more into abstraction.