MATH 🔢 Feed

🔢Math Simple ➕Addition and ➖Subtractions with LEGO

Recently, 👦🏼Adrian really got into LEGO building: he builds every day, and he would build the entire day (if I let him😉). So, we are LEGO ❤️️fanatics here! This Snow ❄️ Resort Kit (buy here) is actually the 1st LEGO Friends set 👦🏼Adrian built completely independently (without 👧🏻Julia's help and he loved the process!) Aside from allowing a child express creativity and ingenuity, there are so many things you can do with LEGO! 


Once Adrian was finished, to add a twist to a traditional LEGO building, I wrote down some equations and asked Adrian to reproduce them with LEGO pieces.


The  "worksheet" (download here) had several basic addition and subtraction equations on it. Adrian would have to build the equation on the board and solve it. 
DSC_0005-2For symbols, I used flat "bumpless" LEGO pieces and simply drew the sign on them with a Sharpie (permanent marker).
DSC_0005-2To provide a control of error, I made sure that each equation sing had the same color, adding a sensorial aspect to this activity. Also, Adrian can sensorily feel little bumps on the pieces while counting to self-correct, triggering tactile learning!

For our Math work: see here a 🎥 video- post "Beginning ➖ Subtraction (Montessori 🔢 Math 🎥Lesson)." For Addition Math work, see here "Montessori Math Simple ➕ Addition using Marble-Counters" and here a 🎥 video-post "➕Addition Strip Board (Montessori 🔢 Math 🎥 Lesson)." Also see here an extension to Montessori Strip Board: "➕Addition Strip Board Making 🔟’s (Montessori 🔢 Math 🎥 Lesson)."

For Holiday posts, here  "🦃Thanksgiving 🌽Inspired DIY Simple ➖ Subtraction Math Lesson."

For more on LEGO, see:

  • here "Learning Fractions with LEGO"
  • here "Julia's Christmas Gift: LEGO Creator Expert Santa's Workshop"
  • here "LEGO Juniors Demolition Site Building Kit"
  • here "Dropper Writing Letter M with LEGO (Language 101 🎥 Series 🎇 Curriculum)"
  • here "LEGO - the Best Investment in a Toy"
  • here "Julia's 7th Birthday Gifts: LEGO Friends"

 Do your children like LEGO? Leave a comment! I love hearing from you!

🦃Thanksgiving 🌽Inspired DIY Simple ➖ Subtraction Math Lesson

This Thanksgiving Inspired DIY lesson on Subtraction uses materials you probably have at home. (Please note that this lesson should be presented to a child who already understands the concept of numerals at least till ten and the concept of addition; see the links below.)

DSC_0055There are different ways you can explain the mathematical operation of "subtraction" to a child -  the process of taking away/removing objects from a collection: a 🦃 hen/turkey ate the kernels (thus the difference is less by what the turkey ate) or a child can use fine and gross motor control to punch out holes/kernels we are subtracting or to cut the subtrahend kernels. 

DSC_0055 Hands-on subtracting (taking away 6) by hole-punching 6 kernels. 

DSC_0043  The 1st number (from which we are subtracting from) is called a minuend, while the number being subtracted (2nd number) is called the subtrahendThe result is called the difference.
DSC_0055Subtracting/taking away can also be presented by cutting, thus resulting with less of something.
DSC_0055Once the equation is solved, a child would choose the correct difference/result of the subtraction from number stickers.

See here a 🎥 video- post "Beginning ➖ Subtraction (Montessori 🔢 Math 🎥Lesson)." For Addition Math work, see here "Montessori Math Simple ➕ Addition using Marble-Counters" and here a 🎥 video-post "➕Addition Strip Board (Montessori 🔢 Math 🎥 Lesson)." Also see here an extension to Montessori Strip Board: "➕Addition Strip Board Making 🔟’s (Montessori 🔢 Math 🎥 Lesson)."

For more on themed unit studies, see here a summary post for the month of November "🦃Thanksgiving Inspired Homeschooling 101 Unit Study" and here a summary post with all activities we have done during the month of🍂September and🎃October in a post "🍂Fall & 🎃Halloween Inspired Homeschooling 101 Unit Study." Also here see what we did in 2016 "🦃Thanksgiving-inspired activities (2016). "

🍁Fall-Inspired Odd and Even (Numbers & Counters)

Montessori Odd and Even Math activity (also called Cards and Counters) concretely teaches a child what number is odd and what number is even, a concept which can otherwise seem very abstract to a child. 


First, place numbers randomly on the rug and ask your child to set numbers one through ten horizontally at the top of the rug. (You want to make sure that your child knows numbers one through ten before introducing the concept of odd and even.) Then ask your child to place counters under each number, corresponding to that number's quantity. 

You can use traditional Montessori Numerals and Counters material (buy here) or you can make it yourself: you would need numbers 1-10 and 55 counters (use marbles, wooden dots, holiday-inspired small objects, etc). We are using fall-inspired maple leaves instead of traditional red wooden counters.

This presentation makes it very obvious for a child to see when a number has a counter without a pair/on its own: meaning that the number is odd. As opposed to, when all counter-leaves have a complete set of pairs - meaning that the number is even.   


See here "❤️Odd & Even (Montessori 🔢 Math 101 🎥 Series 🎇)" a video-post where Adrian summarizes how to determine which number is odd and which one is even.

DSC_0142See here our Christmas Odd and Even lesson.

p.s. The Montessori math curriculum is generally introduced in the following order: (1) Number Rods (introduce at around two years of age), then (2) Sandpaper Numbers, (3) Spindle Box, (4) Numbers Memory Game, (5) followed by Odd and Even activity as shown above.

🖐️Sandpaper 🔢 Numbers (Montessori 🔢 Math 101 🎥 Series 🎇 Curriculum)

Sandpaper Numbers (buy here) is a lesson that is in a math area but is a mixture between the Sensorial area in Montessori classroom and math. Sandpaper numbers are very easy to make at home: all you need is sandpaper, trace numbers, cut them out and glue on a cardstock.


The purpose of this lesson is for the child to learn the symbol/numeral that represents the number. What makes this traditional Montessori lesson so special is that the child learns with so many different senses: 🖐️ touch, 👁️sight, 👂hearing, learning the name. First,  the child 👁️ visually sees the number, the child also develops his/her tactile senses by tracing it: that is feeling it sensorial with touch, and finally, the child learns the name of the symbol of the number.

To introduce the sandpaper numbers to the child, you would start with three numbers at a time (with smaller children you may want to start with just numbers one and two), and you will present a 3🅿️🌠 Three Period Lesson. (For details on Montessori 3🅿️🌠 Three Period Lesson, see a post here.) 

How to present a 3️⃣🅿️🌠Three-Period Lesson: (start with 3 numbers at a time, e.g presenting numbers 1-3):

🔹Period 1: choose a number and while tracing that number say: “This says 1. Would you trace 1?"; "This says 2" ... etc
🔹Period 2: "Will you show me 1…2…3 ”?
🔹Period 3: “What is this?" 

This lesson can last a while: start with numbers one and two, and then start adding more numbers as the child gains confidence. If the child loses an interest, simply put away the lesson and come back a few days later.


Math can be mundane and tedious, so to make an activity fun, I came up with these few extensions that add a "play-and-learn" dimension to the activity.

Silly Numbers Game:

While keeping the numbers visible, add some fun by giving simple directions: put three on your head, turn two upsides down, hide one behind your back etc. This game was a big hit when Adrian was about 2 years of age: he thought the directions were hilarious! 

Another Extension is the game called:  Crazy Mixed Up Numbers:

Take sandpaper numbers one through ten (or just start with one through three) turn numbers upside down and rearrange, mixing them up. Then, invite your child to knock:

"Knock-Knock – who is there? What is this number?”

Once the child turns over the number, invite him/her to name the particular number (resembling of a 3rd Period Lesson). This activity can be modified for older children as well, using larger numbers, like 100, 200, 300 etc.


I think if you make learning fun, engaging and hands-on,  your child will keep coming back to the lesson: learning effortlessly, with grace, and most importantly, caring on the love of learning.  


DIY Sandpaper Numbers:

Sandpaper Numbers are also easy to make at home.

What you will need:

  • green cardstock to resemble the traditional Montessori Sandpaper Numbers
  • sandpaper from your local hardware store,
  • scissors (children are also using a paper cutter for more precision)
  • and glue.

 Having your child make or help you make these DIY Sandpaper NUmbers will only ignite the excitement, promoting interest and engagement.


 By sensorily feeling the number, the child is able to perceive the symbol through senses other than just visual. 



For more extensions, see here a post "🔢 Number 📶 Extensions with sandpaper, sensory tray, marbles, play dough, counters, and spindles." Also, see here a post "Spindle Box & Sandpaper 🔢Numbers Extensions (Montessori Math).

DSC_0226.JPGSee here Adrian exploring sandpaper numbers at two years old in a post "🖐️Sandpaper 🔢 Numbers Early Montessori Math."


"Sandpaper Numbers Extension" post (read here ) offers different ideas on how to use marbles (above) and crayons/chunky wax blocks (below) to keep sandpaper numbers interesting and captivating. 


And what about painting numbers with water? See below:

DSC_0623See here a post "💧Water 🖌️ Brushing 🔢 Numbers."

For more on Montessori Math Lessons, read here "Early Math" post, which explains briefly which Montessori materials are to be introduced first and in what order.

👦🏼Adrian's ✍️ Workbooks Round Up (Montessori 🔠 Language & 🔢 Math)

I believe that good habits form good character. So, as part of Adrian's daily routine (he has a schedule, just like Julia), he writes/traces in his workbooks. I would not say that writing is his favorite part of the day (he still likes to play), but it is something he got used to doing, and it is how we start our day. The goal is to keep up child's motivation until the behavior becomes a habit (which could take a couple months). Eventually, the habit becomes automatic (even enjoyable) instead of something you need to force your child to do. To keep up the motivation, I offer Adrian various workbooks and he picks according to the current mood: it can be Numbers tracing, Letters tracing, Logic Thinking Skills Workbook (buy here) or Spatial Reasoning (buy here) and so forth. 

FullSizeRender 3Today, Adrian (46 months) wanted to trace numbers.

I like the way KUMON workbook guides the child from the dot to the star, or if there are more than one lines to draw, the book offers sequentially numbered steps of proper tracing. 

FullSizeRender 4 Buy Numbers workbook that Adrian is writing in here.
FullSizeRender 4
Below, see a link to a video of Adrian writing down solved mathematical equation at 3.5 years old.
DSC_0019See here a video "✍🏻️Writing Down Solved Equation (Montessori 🔢 Math 🎥 Lesson)."

DSC_0001See here a video post "Refining Straight Lines in 🔠 Uppercase Letter-Writing at 39 months," and here where Adrian was tracing in the same workbook, but a month earlier, at 38 months.

Buy KUMON Uppercase letters here and Lowercase letters workbook here ). 

DSC_0014Also, see here a video post "✍️Tracing ABCs 🐋Animal Flash Cards with a💧Water 🖋️ Pen."


Finally, see below the video of Adrian spontaneously beginning to write his name at 37 months! Before that, he was just doodling.

20161207-DSC_0531See a video here "1️⃣ First Time ✍️Writing Own name 'Adrian' at 37 months."


Adrian also loves his BLUE book below (buy here). For girls, there is a similar PINK book (buy here).

DSC_0373.JPGSee here "A ❤️Favorite 📘 BLUE Book at 36 months." 

My Brilliantly Blue Sticker book (buy here) has been Adrian's absolute favorite since he was two years old because of the diversity of subjects (e.g. transportation, dinosaurs, farm animals, solar system etc.,) hands-on application and many-many bright blue stickers!

Does your child have a favorite workbook or book?

Download 👦🏼Adrian's 🗒 weekly schedule here

p.s. You might also want to check out our "🔠 Letter Series (Montessori Language)" posts here which has a lot of links to letter recognition activities we have been doing since Adrian was two years old.