Spindle Boxes

November 11, 2015
The Spindle Boxes are a Montessori math material that introduce counting with tangible wooden spindles.

The material consists of two boxes, one with a lid that holds 45 spindles, and another open box which is divided into 9 compartments. This box, almost like a tray with high sides, has a number on each compartment, 0-9.

The spindles themselves are wooden rods with no markings or coloring on them. A child carefully arranges the two boxes on a table, and begins counting! One spindle in the one compartment. Two spindles in the two compartment. And so on!

Similar to Cards and Counters, a natural control of error occurs when a child finishes counting. If there are too few or too many spindles, the child knows he or she has made an error somewhere along the way.

The child isn’t dependent on a teacher or guide for confirmation that he or she has done the work correctly.

The child isn’t dependent on a teacher or guide for confirmation that he or she has done the work correctly. It’s just another way that independence is fostered in the Montessori classroom.

For other great Math area Encyclopedia posts, we suggest the Red Rods or the Sandpaper Numerals.

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