Intro Tray: Decimal System

February 24, 2016
A child's foray into the world of numbers.

The Intro Tray is an elegant, beautiful, and enticing introduction to the decimal system. The golden beads, perfectly strung onto the gleaming metal rods, invite the child to learn the foundations of math. The same foundations that will carry them through every other math material in the classroom and beyond.

When the child first encounters this material, the Montessori guide will typically incorporate the 3 period lesson. Let’s look at the names of the units that the child will learn:

The small bead is referred to as “unit.” After the child feels and names the unit, they will set it aside to explore the 10 bar. The guide might ask the child to count the units in the 10 bar with them, “How many units are there?” After counting to ten, you can then name the 10 bar. “We call this…ten”. They move on to the hundred square and thousand cube.

An important aspect of the Intro Tray is allowing the child to feel the dimensions, weight, and size difference of each quantity. The unit feels very different than the 1 thousand cube!

After the child is presented with the names of each quantity, the guide can then ask the child to recall the names of each with the 3 period lesson. The child will be delighted to explore this new-found knowledge, and can come back to the Intro Tray as often as they like to practice this new vocabulary!

Thanks for reading!

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