THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

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

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336             THE MONTESSORI METHOD
beyond nine. Counting along the stair as far as nine, there remains this one section which, as there are no more numbers, we again designate as 1; but this is a higher 1 than the first, and to distinguish it from the first we put near it a zero, a sign which means nothing. Here then is 10. Covering the zero with the separate rectangu­lar number cards in the order of their succession we see formed: 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19. These num­bers are composed by adding to rod number 10, first rod number 1, then 2, then 3, etc., until we finally add rod number 9 to rod number 10, thus obtaining a very long rod, which, when its alternating red and blue sections are counted, gives us nineteen.
The directress may then show to the child the cards, giving the number 16, and he may place rod 6 after rod 10. She then takes away the card bearing 6, and places over the zero the card bearing the figure 8, whereupon the child
takes away rod 6 and replaces it with rod 8, thus making 18. Each of these acts may be recorded thus: 10 + 6 = 16; 10 + 8 = 18, etc We proceed in the same way to subtraction. When the number itself be­gins to have a clear meaning to the child, the combinations are made upon one long card, ar­ranging the rectangular cards bearing the nine figures upon the two columns of numbers shown in the figures A and B.
Upon the card A we superimpose upon the zero of the second 10, the rectangular card bearing the 1: and under this the one bearing two, etc. Thus while the one of the
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