Montessori Elementary Homeschool Blog - with documentation of our infant Montessori, toddler Montessori, and primary Montessori experiences; as well as preparation for the upcoming adolescent Montessori homeschool years.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dot Game Fun!

I love the dot game - I don't know what it is - all the dots maybe? Nah - it's the organization of it - the beauty of it - the essential teaching of it!

And it is the one time that markers are typically used in a Montessori class - if the dot game is kept in a glass frame or laminated and mounted - the children can use a dry erase marker and eraser and use it again and again!

Legoboy did it at school, and wanted it to do it at home (that year I alternated subbing at Montessori schools and working at home - and homeschooling - it was a crazy, but wonderful year!) --- well, I just printed it out and he filled it in. We downloaded this version from Montessori Materials - a great place for some of the printable materials.

Then I had to print more - because he just ate it up!

Here is his first one... It's so pretty! I wrote the first set of numbers and everything else was on him.

The children check off as they do a row, so they can track where they are. They connect up the dots to create a "bead-bar of ten"; then carrying over is noted in red the first several times they do it, to really reinforce the extra work that goes into carrying. But these are all concepts that are actually KNOWN - the child has been doing this work throughout use of the golden bead material - for Legoboy, it had been almost two years with the golden beads, probably a year and a half with carrying, before he actually did the dot game. 

Montessori works in baby steps - so there are only two new things here: 
  1. doing the work ALL on paper, in typical addition format (on the right side) --- but connecting it back to their previous work of no more than 9 in any category! 
  2. introduction of the comma. Until this time they have not really been using the comma. There are many adults (ahem, me) who try to sneak that comma in there sooner - before the child is ready (too many new things at once if it is introduced sooner!) and most of the time the adult doesn't even realize he or she is doing it! It's so instinctive! But we want the children to focus on place value, so we don't worry about the comma until around this time - this is close to the time they will also learn about millions with the wooden hierarchical material - so the next step is to be introduced to the repetition of the categories (unit, ten, hundred; unit of thousand, ten of thousand, hundred of thousand, etc.). 
This material is only used for addition although multiplication could be done on it. There is more other work for the child to do and the point here is the two points listed above. So further operations are not necessary. 

By the 3rd sheet of this work, the Dot Game turned into a balloon popping game - pop 1, pop 2, pop 3, etc. until number 10 was the biggest POP of them all! 

oh the days when it wasn't about battles and weapons.... it just balloons popping! How I miss those days ;) 

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