Sandpaper Numerals

September 17, 2015
Sandpaper Numerals help form the building blocks of numeracy, leading to bigger math work.

Similar to the other sandpaper materials in the Montessori classroom, this math material invites a child to begin exploring the world of numbers. Physically, the Sandpaper Numerals are green wooden rectangles, with numbers 0-9 engraved on front in a fine-grit sandpaper.

The guide invites the child to a table to begin working with the Sandpaper Numerals. The teacher may trace the letter and say the name several times, then invite the child to do the same. The sandpaper figure provides a perfect control of error, for the child feels it if they aren’t tracing the number correctly.

A three-period lesson may be used to introduce numbers. The guide and child won’t necessarily work with the numerals in order. Identifying the numbers is different than counting from 0-9, which may fall back on rote memorization. Understanding that each number represents a different quantity is an important step on the path to bigger math in the Montessori classroom!

Sandpaper Numerals,  Red Rods, and Cards and Counters are featured in Intro to Math by Montessorium, available on the iPad and iPhone.

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