THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

Scientific Methods As Applied To Child Education In "the Children's Houses"

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330             THE MONTESSORI METHOD
They themselves often cry out, " Zero is nothing! Zero
is nothing! "
EXERCISES FOB THE MEMORY OF NUMBERS
When the children recognise the written figure, and when this figure signifies to them the numerical value, I give them the following exercise:
I cut the figures from old calendars and mount them upon slips of paper which are then folded and dropped into a box. The children draw out the slips, carry them still folded, to their seats, where they look at them and refold them, conserving the secret. Then, one by one, or in groups, these children (who are naturally the oldest ones in the class) go to the large table of the directress where groups of various small objects have been placed. Each one selects the quantity of objects corresponding to the number he has drawn. The number, meanwhile, has been left at the child's place, a slip of paper mysteriously folded. The child, therefore, must remember his number not only during the movements which he makes in coming and going, but while he collects his pieces, counting them one by one. The directress may here make interesting individual observations upon the number memory.
When the child has gathered up his objects he arranges them upon his own table, in columns of two, and if the number is uneven, he places the odd piece at the bottom and between the last two objects. The arrangement of the pieces is therefore as follows:
oo         o         oo         oo         o         oo
X XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XX
X XX XX XX XX XX XX XX
X XX XX XX XX XX
X XX XX XX
X XX
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