Sunday, July 17, 2011

Division, the Montessori way

In the book The doorbell rang, a mother baked 12 cookies for her 2 children. The pair calculated and determined that they will have 6 cookies each. But before they could devour the delicious cookies, the doorbell rang. There, at the door, stood 2 of their neighbours. The mother invited them over for cookies. Once again, the children calculated that now, each of the 4 kids will have 3 cookies. But the doorbell rang again, and in came 2 more friends. The kids re-divided the cookies and each of the 6 kids will now have only 2 cookies. guess it, the doorbell rang again, this time there were 6 more kids! With 12 children, each kid gets only one cookie, much to their dismay.

This is a simple book about division. Using this story, i showed sonshine boy how to 'play' the Montessori Division board.

First, i wrote the equation on a card. I didn't take pictures, but i started with the equation similar to the book, i.e. 12 divide by 2, 12 divide by 4.... When he got the hang of the game, i let him explore with other equations as the above picture.

I told the boy, that the green skittles are people and the green balls (see below picture) represent the cookies. So to solve the equation, say 18 divide by 9, i told him that this means that there are 18 cookies to be divided by 9 people. I asked him to take 9 'people' (skittles) and place them on the board (see picture above).

Next, he distributed the 18 'cookies' (green balls), among the 9 'people' (green skittles) like so. I asked him how many 'cookies' will each person have? Looking at each column, we determine that each person will get 2 'cookies'- and that's our answer!

Using this Montessori Board, i've showed him how to read the division equation. Now, we'll just have to practise doing more division equations

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