Does Montessori Teach Core Math? 7 Montessori Math Materials

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A lot of people think that Montessori school is just a big playground for children.

Others think it lets children just do whatever they want. That is not the case at all.

Does Montessori Teach Core Math

Does Montessori teach core Math? Montessori education teaches core Mathematics and other common core curricula public schools teach. It combines common core subjects with the Montessori approach. The Montessori governing body, the American Montessori Institute (AMI), has mapped out the public school curriculum into the Montessori curriculum. So, do not worry, your children are not missing out.

How Does Montessori Teach Core Math?

The Montessori curriculum is based on the set of standards and methodology created by Dr. Maria Montessori. This method of education believes that a child’s mind is mathematical by nature. That is based on a perceptual awareness order through the development of the senses.

Montessori teaches core Mathematics appropriate to the student’s age and stage of education and they do it in a way that is creative and purposeful.

Students are prepared and introduced to math skill sets such as counting and basic math concepts. While abstract reasoning and complicated math problems are taught at higher Montessori.

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    In Montessori education, mathematics is taught in a hands-on and concrete manner, allowing children to develop a deep understanding of math concepts. This manner is done to achieve and reach common learning goals for specific grade levels.

    The method employs a range of specifically designed materials and activities to teach core math skills and promote mathematical thinking. 

    The Montessori math curriculum is carefully sequenced, starting with the most fundamental concepts and gradually progressing to more complex ideas. This way, children get a better understanding of what they learn beyond memorization or a basic understanding of the subject.

    The curriculum encompasses various areas of mathematics, including numeration, operations, geometry, measurement, and fractions.

    6 Montessori Math Materials

    The materials used in Montessori math are manipulative and sensorial, enabling children to explore mathematical concepts through direct experience and active engagement.

    Abstract concepts using this philosophy are taught using a variety of materials that go beyond memorization or basic use of concepts for college and career readiness examinations.

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    Montessori math materials are designed to be self-correcting, allowing children to discover and correct their own errors. This promotes independent learning and builds children’s confidence in their mathematical abilities.

    Some key materials used in the Montessori curriculum include:

    1. Number Rods

    These are a set of ten wooden rods varying in length, representing the numbers one to ten. Children use the rods to develop an understanding of number sequence, quantity, and the concept of odd and even.

    2. Sandpaper Numerals

    These are textured cards with numerals printed on them. Children trace the numerals with their fingers, associating the symbol with the quantity and developing pre-writing skills.

    3. Golden Beads

    These materials consist of beads representing units, tens, hundreds, and thousands. Through hands-on exploration, children learn place value, addition, subtraction, and eventually multiplication and division.

    4. Number Cards and Counters

    These materials consist of cards with numerals and corresponding quantities of counters. Children match the numeral cards with the correct number of counters, developing one-to-one correspondence and understanding the concept of quantity.

    5. Geometric Solids

    These three-dimensional shapes help children explore concepts such as shape recognition, spatial relationships, volume, and symmetry. 

    6. Decimal System

    Montessori introduces the decimal system using specialized materials such as Decimal Cards, which aid children in understanding place value and working with numbers beyond the thousands of places.

    7. Strip Boards

    In the context of mathematics, strip boards are often used to teach number sequences and patterns. They can be used to introduce counting, skip counting, and basic arithmetic operations such as add and subtract.

    For example, a strip board might have a series of number tiles from 1 to 10 arranged in a linear sequence.

    Children can physically move the tiles and count them to develop a sense of number order and quantity. They can also use the strip board to explore skip counting by placing tiles at intervals (e.g., 2, 4, 6, 8) and recognizing the pattern. 

    The method emphasizes experiencing the skill of using these materials to achieve the set of common learning goals for both private and public Montessori schools. 

    Common Core Standards in Montessori Schools

    The common core state standards including Math have similarities to traditional schools’ mathematics standards.

    Montessori and common core share almost the exact same learning goals for specific grades and share the same solid foundation for learning. 

    The difference between Montessori and common core teaching in traditional schools lies in the teaching method. 

    Independent Learning

    Children learn on their own with less supervision. The classroom provides math activities and Montessori materials that children can choose from so they can decide which lesson to work on. Teachers do not instruct, they only guide.

    Independent learning does not mean children are left alone to learn and practice memorization for exams. The math activities are prepared in advance to make sure that it is the right activity for each child.

    Math is one of the most challenging subjects for students. By giving them the freedom to choose and some independence, children develop a love for Math-the love for seeking math facts becomes natural and they do not get intimidated by the subject.

    Hands-on Learning

    Montessori does not teach math using textbooks. Montessori’s common core goes beyond memorization. Children learn math through hands-on experience and play.

    Being a difficult subject, this approach makes Math easier to tackle. In the Montessori approach to education, students learn to solve problems in math through concrete materials 

    By using practical experiential methods, math becomes fun and easy to understand.

    Montessori Classroom

    The Montessori classroom and prepared activities are a safe space for children to learn challenging lessons.

    Children learn math by doing math activities on their own or by working in groups.

    The student-to-teacher ratio in a classroom is 15:1. Children get more attention and help from teachers.

    The Montessori Teacher

    Montessori teachers are highly trained in teaching core math using the approach.

    Since the learning methods in Montessori preschools, high schools, and elementary schools are different from those in other schools, the teachers are equipped with the skills necessary to instill and place the correct amount of information in the children.

    Since the curriculum moves from concrete to abstract, teachers teach students with the use of fun activities, engaging visuals, and demonstrations to teach not only math but also English language arts.

    The Montessori Method and Principle

    Whether it is math, practical life, or other subjects, Montessori’s method remains the same. 

    Each Child is Unique

    The philosophy recognizes each child as a unique and separate individual with unique learning styles and paces.

    Their strengths and weaknesses are used to empower them and improve them.

    Through this, teachers guide and plan their individualized learning program so they can develop according to their needs.

    Nurturing Independence, Concentration, and Order

    The Montessori classroom is an intentional environment that establishes a routine. It develops independence and self-regulation through freedom within limits.

    The preset activities foster organizational skills and order.

    Focus and concentration are developed by allowing students to master an activity before giving them another set.

    The Three-Year Period

    Students and teachers in a Montessori classroom enjoy three years together. This gives children a small community that they can rely on.

    Thus, the students do not go through the stress of meeting new peers and teachers every year.

    The three-year period gives students a safe and familiar space where they can learn and develop.

    Freedom within Limits

    The Montessori classroom provides limited choices that are selected to address each child’s learning needs.

    Freedom in the classroom means students choose their own activities within the limits and boundaries of the curated classroom.

    Freedom with limits allows students to focus and master a skill.

    Self-Assessment and Self-Regulation

    The method allows students to assess their own work and correct their mistakes. Teachers guide and steer them in the right direction but leave students to self-assess and self-regulate.

    Focus on Social-Emotional Skills

    Montessori education puts as much weight on social-emotional skills as academics. Teaching children proper behavior and practical skills will help mold them into outstanding citizens in the community.

    Some of the social-emotional skills teachers teach include caring for oneself, others, and the environment, empathy, patience, tolerance, and many others.


    If Montessori schools do not use textbooks and exams, how will you know if they are actually learning math and other academic subjects? Montessori uses other methods of measuring a child’s progress. Teachers observe and provide feedback to students, parents, and school leaders regularly. Like any school, these schools are required to conduct assessments to measure progress in learning.

    Will Montessori prepare children for college math? Montessori teaches core math that is needed for college. It is the same math that is taught in all schools in the country. The difference is the way math is taught. Children gain the same knowledge in math and other core subjects that are needed in college.

    Is Montessori math suitable for children with learning disabilities? Montessori math is better suited for children with learning disabilities compared to math in traditional schools.  Other schools use textbooks and tests while Montessori uses hands-on learning. Teachers adjust to the child’s pace and learning style. Children with learning disabilities learn individually and do not have to compete or catch up with their peers.

    Is math better in Montessori than in traditional school math? When we say Montessori math, it means the way core math is taught. The mathematics subject itself is the same throughout all schools. Montessori teaches math better than other schools because it is taught individually not as a group. No students fall behind because their progress is measured individually not as a group.


    Montessori education teaches core Mathematics and other common core curricula public schools teach. Montessori combines common core subjects with the Montessori approach. The governing body, the American Montessori Institute (AMI), has mapped out the public school curriculum into the Montessori curriculum.

    Core math is made easy by the Montessori method of teaching. Opportunities for Montessori students are endless. Students benefit from the child-centered approach by learning math in a fun and easy way.