Montessori Math! This is one of my favorite subjects, and it is wonderful bringing this lesson to you. I have written a blog post on this topic, except that it focuses on Addition (with a free printable), so be sure and check it out, too. In this post, you will see how easy it is to recreate this Montessori Math subtraction lesson at home. We also have a free printable for you.
What you need:
- a 2×3 mat
- golden beads set (or beans or beads or uncooked pasta shells)
- wooden number cards with box (or the free printable in this post)
- subtraction template with number families (laminated or with a clear protector sheet)
- writing utensil (dry erase marker or dry erase crayon)
You can see the setup above. If you are using our free printable numbers instead of the wooden number cards, I would suggest you print them out on cardstock and laminate them for durability. The cool thing about having the printable is that you can print a couple of copies to have more numbers to work with.
We are working with subtraction right now, so you only need the minus sign card and the equal sign card. Choose two numbers and show the child how to put together a subtraction sentence. You can use our example of 5-1=__.
Ask the child to collect five beads and to place them on the mat. Then the child will remove one bead and count the total. Find the number on the wooden number cards and place it next to the equal sign and complete the subtraction number sentence. The last step is to write the answer on the laminated template.
You can make these templates yourself. Just make one for each number family.
Table of one: 1-1=__, 2-1=__, 3-1=__, 4-1=__, 5-1=__, 6-1=__, 7-1=__, 8-1=__, 9-1=__
Table of two: 2-2=__, 3-2=__, 4-2=__, 5-2=__, 6-2=__, 7-2=__, 8-2=__, 9-2=__
Table of three: 3-3=__, 4-3=__, 5-3=__, 6-3=__, 7-3=__, 8-3=__, 9-3=__
Keep going with one on each page up to nine. Again, once you have these made, I suggest you laminate them or put them in a sheet protector so you can reuse and not waste ink and paper every time you work on this activity.
As you can see on our template below, the number family subtraction sentences are out of order. You can make one set of the number families in order and one out of order or make one set, cut them into strips, laminate them, and then you can rearrange them in any order you prefer. Isn’t that a neat idea?
This activity can be for children ages 3-6, depending on their ability and readiness. This is only the beginning lesson. We go on to using the tens, then the hundreds, and eventually the thousands and beyond. It is a very fun lesson–especially when they begin regrouping.
I hope you enjoyed this lesson and will try it at home. Let us know how you used it!
Come grab your free printable number cards here!