Montessori Math: BONUS POINT

(à propos last post) BONUS POINT:

Golden Beads

Golden Beads

Did you notice that 10 x 10 = 100, and is represented by a square?

As in 10².  Or “ten squared.”  Like, it’s a SQUARE.  Coincidence?  Nope.

Look at 10 x 10 x 10 = 1,000.  “One Thousand” in Montessori is represented by a cube.   Aka: 10³.  Or “ten cubed.”  It makes a CUBE, Dude!

Do the 1st graders understand these concepts now?  Not really, but they are being subconsciously internalized, starting on a *physical* level, like in their bodies.  Just wait ’til they are introduced to the concept down the road.  I can hear it now:

Teacher:  “See kids, 10³ means 10 x 10 x 10.  In other words, ten CUBED.”

Kids:  Oh. OK.

Teacher:  See?  It makes a cube.

Kids:  Well, DUH!


Right, “DUH.”  Something I didn’t understand until Math Morning LAST YEAR when my son was in kindergarten working on his “Six Chain.”  Counting by sixes, which contains a  particular emphasis on 36 (which is 6 x 6, “6²,” or “six squared”) and 216.

Me: “What’s so special about 216?”

Teacher:  “That’s six cubed.”

Me:  Oh?  [Empty pause.]  Oh!  And… it makes… a cube.   [“POOFFFFFF!” goes my head.]    I… never… realized… that.



For now, I’m just thankful that we’re past the point of having to get any more Golden Beads extricated from my son’s head.  (Right?)


About circuskitchen

performing artist, mom, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, niece... just a regular extraordinary person
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6 Responses to Montessori Math: BONUS POINT

  1. Pingback: Ear Bead Episode | circuskitchen

  2. Baba/Bubble Wow says:

    My mother wanted me to be a teacher. Clearly I made the right decision in not doing so because I AM NOT SMART ENOUGH!

    • NOT TRUE Mom!! They just hadn’t discovered GROWTH MINDSET yet. So no-one knew you could GROW your (math) brain. Though admittedly to the untrained eye it would appear that YOUR brain is all taken up with literature and art.

      • Baba/Bubble Wow says:

        Yes, I always had a naturally-occurring Growth Mindset in literature and art.
        Math had the effect of General Anesthesia on my brain.

  3. More wisdom from you Mom:

    “It would have been nice to have had math set in context (thank you, Wikipedia) when I was young. It may have made its study seem worthwhile. If this info was ever conveyed to me, I missed it:

    ” ‘Calculus is the mathematical study of change, in the same way that geometry is the study of shape and algebra is the study of operations and their application to solving equations.’

    “As an adult, 60 years after “taking calculus” in high school with my dad as tutor, I learned that calculus is the study of change. Who knew?”

  4. Dr. Maria Montessori was a genius. Just wait until you learn about fraction skittles and the dot game! 😉

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