Adrian 3 years (36 months milestones) Feed

Montessori 💯Hundred Board at 3 Yo

The Hundred Board (buy here) is a traditional Montessori material, consisting of a blank board and wooden numbers from 1- 100. There is also a control chart with all the numbers filled in. The objective is memorization, and an understanding of numbers and their sequence. Also, this material trains the child to work from left to right, top to bottom ~ while teaching counting and skip counting, number recognition, number sequencing, patterning and more.

First, a child will need to sort the number tiles into tens groups: you can use piles, small baskets, small jars, vertically creating columns etc; alternatively, you can sort the number tiles using a wooden storage box with dividers, but we do not find it useful since the compartments are very small.   

DSC_0030Julia picked rows as a sorting medium. (The numbers need not be in order, just in groups).

Hundred Board (meant to teach numbers 11-99) is generally introduced after a child had mastered Numbers Rods, Sandpaper Numbers, Spindle Boxes, Teen Board and Tens' board. However, a smaller child can refer to the Control Chart, and he does not need to assemble the entire board from memory. Adrian just turned 36 months; he is well familiar with numbers 1 through 10, and 100 is made up of all those same numbers. So, following the control chart and filling in the board, he inevitably practices number memorization and sequencing. 

DSC_0091.JPGInitially, Julia gave Adrian a pile of numbers 1-20, since he knows them well. 
DSC_0091.JPGHe had to refer to Control Chart to see where to place the number. 

Numbers 1-10 he knows well, so he did not need to pick them in order to know where they should go on the board. (He randomly picked from a pile a number 2, then 7, 6, 8, etc...). With numbers 11-20, however, it was harder, so Adrian kept choosing only consecutive numbers (11, 12, 13, etc) and placing them on the board one after the other. 

DSC_0099Once, he was done with numbers 1-20, Julia gave him the next pile "21-30".

DSC_0114And so forth: 1-tens -pile at a time (51 -60).
DSC_0114Finally, thirty minutes later, all 100 numbers were placed on the board.

An older child, (here, Julia at 7 yrs old), might be able to assemble the board even without sorting the numbers first, but simply by counting spaces without referring to the control chart. 



DSC_0031It is fun for an older child to make design from numbers - Julia made a "Butterfly" here.

DSC_0060Here, Julia (7yo) made a Flower Pattern.  

How do you introduce the Hundred board and when?

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Teen Board at 36 months - Montessori Math Lesson (This "Is" vs. "Says")

Montessori Teen Board is a great way to introduce the concept of teens to a child. Not only children see how tens and ones are being build to make teens, but they are also physically building teens themselves! We are using a traditional Montessori Teen Board (bead-bars and beads sold separately here), which is a foundation for this style of education. This material is wonderful, as it is extremely concrete, allowing your child to visually and physically build numbers both numerals and quantity.

In Montessori math curriculum, numbers are perceived as:

(1) a quantity - actual spindles/marbles/beads your child is holding, which represents a true quantity - what a number really is. The language you would use when addressing quantity is "This is"

(2) a numeral - a symbol people came up with to represent such quantity on paper. The language you would use when addressing a number/numeral is "This says "

20161213-20161208-DSC_0606A Teen Board is essentially (2) sets of boards, (9) bead-bars of ten and loose colored beads from one through ten. You would arrange the boards to the left of a rug, and have a child set up numbers in order one through ten to the right of the rug.



"this says 10”


"this is 1-ten bar


"this says 1” 


this is 1





Show a child how to make a first teen: eleven, by pointing to the first number ten on the board  “this says 10”. Then, show a child one string of beads and count the beads in a one-ten-bar: “this is 1-ten bar.” Then, pick "one" wooden numeral from a right column and say: "this says 1.” Point to one tiny bead and say  “this is 1-bead.” Then have the child slide a wooden number "one" on top of ten written on the board. 

DSC_0028"One and ten makes eleven." 

20161208-DSC_0608Proceed similarly, showing a child that twelve is made up of number ten and two (one-ten bar and two tiny beads).

20161208-DSC_0608Have the child slide a wooden number two on top of a ten board, making twelve.

DSC_0028Making thirteen.


Start with introducing (3) teens at a time, concluding with a Montessori 3🅿️🌠 Three Period Lesson. (Read how to present a3🅿️🌠 Lesson here).

DSC_0028Gradually, add more teens, finishing with nineteen.  
DSC_0028Nineteen, just like eleven is made up of one-ten-bar and nine-beads!

I started introducing beads and ten-bars even before Adrian's third birthday (read here), but I would say, three years old is a good age to start introducing Montessori Teen Board. Keep in mind that you would want to present this activity few times before a child gets a solid understanding of teen building. Also, keep in mind that children need movement (especially younger ones who have difficulties sitting still), so you might want to move numbers across the room (or place them in another room), and ask a child to get up and get them. The younger the child, the shorter should be the distance you let them walk with numbers. Children love putting items in different places and bringing them back again later. 

Movement = Fun = better absorption of information = faster learning!

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Geography 🌎 Theory 📖 Curriculum Lesson 1: Introduction (Concrete - Objects)

With Adrian turning three years old, in addition to other geography lessons, I am also adding a theory curriculum, to introduce new terminology and other concepts. I have to be mindfull though not to be too wordy as Adrian will not sustain his attention if he is bombarded with many unfamiliar words. So, the goal is to be as simple as possible and make it interesting. 

Geography is one of the oldest sciences, and it comes from two Greek words geo -"the Earth" and -graphy -"writing" -  meaning writing about the Earth.  To make the lesson hands-on, I made a "geography tray" with the following concrete objects:

  • some soil/dirt in a glass jar representing the Earth;
  • a map (telling us a story);
  • a compass (that helps us figure out the direction we are going);
  • a small Telescope ("Pirate Navigation").

In Montessori education, subjects are usually taught from concrete to abstract. So, introducing a child to real objects which the child can hold and relate to (such as a doll representing a person or dirt representing the Earth), facilitates the assimilation of new information. 

Geography is the study of our Earth, people and places in our world. People who study geography are called geographers. Geographers are interested in Earth's physical features, such as mountains, deserts, rivers, and oceans. They are also interested in the ways that people affect and are affected by the natural world. So, the relationship between the Earth and its people is the essence of geography today. I asked Adrian on which continent does he live (he pointed to North America), and we looked through Child's First Picture Atlas

DSC_0351The colored globe represents the Earth, a doll-boy represents all the people and a map is to show us places.

DSC_0351Adrian kept asking "Really? Is it our planet Earth? It is not that hard!"
DSC_0351A map is used to see big places up close. Adrian decided to use a telescope in leu of a magnifying glass to explore it.

We talked briefly about maps, and that a map is a picture that tells a story. A map can make a large place look small, just like an Eiffel Tower on this map. Maps show what a place looks like from high up. Some maps tell us about weather, others tell us how to find places/things or how to go from one place to the other.

Next lesson, we will talk more about maps and will do simple mapping. 

The goal of this lesson was to introduce some terminology and spark an interest in a geography.

The result: Adrian was fascinated with dirt and a compass, and he liked the story about pirates using a compass to sail towards the Northern star. 

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Self-Correcting Alphabet Letter Puzzle

With Adrian turning three, my focus now is more on "core" lessons such as language, reading and math (as oppose to practical life and sensorial exercises he did prior to that). I know some children already read at this age; Adrian does not yet, so our main focus in preparation for Pink Series is letter recognition. This Self-Correcting Alphabet Letter Puzzle was a test to see how well does Adrian know his ABCs. This puzzle targets skills such as matching, first letter recognition, and vocabulary expansion. Some picture-words he knew, and the ones that he did not know, like a Quail, he had to match the small print under the picture to a correct letter puzzle. Also, if matched incorrectly, the pieces will not fit together - that is why it is called "self-correcting" puzzle.

DSC_0345First, he would sort the puzzle pieces:  pictures on one side, letters on the other.
DSC_0345Word "inchworm" was unfamiliar, but he figured it out by a process of elimination - it was the last one left.

Adrian has been doing See & Spell boards since two years old, and by 26 months, he was able to complete all the double-sided boards. However, rather than being able to spell at such a young age, he was utilizing his matching skill since it is possible to correctly match the wooden letters to their respective cutouts even without knowing all the letters. Now, at 36 months, using the Self-Correcting Alphabet Letter Puzzle , I was not sure if Adrian would be able to match the entire alphabet from the first try, but he did. As he becomes more familiar with words, it will become easier to complete with each try, but the pictures are beautifully detailed, and hope he will be enjoying this puzzle for weeks to come.

DSC_0003.JPGFew days later, Adrian completed this puzzle a little faster and with more confidence:) He also decided to match the wooden Alphabet letters to it and add corresponding objects that begin with each letter. He is pretty good with the first-letter recognition, so I guess we will be moving on to work with the last-letter recognition soon:)

What Alphabet puzzles do you do with your child?


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Making Teens with 🎃Pumpkin Counters (Montessori Math Intro to Teen Board)

The concept of a numeral can be very abstract for a child. So to make this concrete, we are using Fall-inspired wooden 🎃 pumpkin counters to represent the quantity while building "teens" hands-on. Seeing that number one is small and ten is big allows the child to visually and concretely understand the symbol and its corresponding quantity, which otherwise might seem confusing especially for smaller children.  


In a Montessori Math curriculum, Golden Ten-Bead Bars (buy here) represent the number ten, while colorful beads (buy a set here) represent units: that is numerals one through ten. Although Adrian has been able to count till one hundred even before his third birthday, such counting is mechanical, without understanding a true meaning of numbers, just like reciting a favorite nursing rhyme or a poem. A Teen Board (buy a set here), on the other hand, teaches a child fact families: that numbers are made up of other numbers: a ten bar here, for example, and units (one through 10).  To today, we are counting pumpkins, while making teen-numbers eleven through fifteen.

DSC_0192Number 11= 1 ten-bar + 1 red unit-bead.


In a number 10, the first"1" means that there is just 1 ten-bar & when we add one unit, we get 11.
DSC_0192"There are a lot of pumpkin-counters in the number eleven!"

A child would proceed in a similar fashion, adding to a number ten,pumpkin-counters two through five, making respectively numbers twelve, thirteen, and so on.

For more on math, read a full Teen Board presentation here. Also, you might want to read here "🖐️Sandpaper 🔢 Numbers Extensions (Marbles & 🖍️ Crayons)."

For more on Autumn-themed activities, read here a roundup of all our activities we have done during the month of 🍂September and 🎃October: over 20 of them! arranged by the area of study in a post "🍂Fall & 🎃Halloween Inspired Homeschooling 101 Unit Study."

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