Sunday, July 12, 2009

Montessori Materials (more planning!)

Well, I haven't kept up my holiday blogging like I planned. Oh well, better to live it! ;) But, we've been doing lots of baking & hanging out with each other & friends & family. Good things :)

On the Montessori front I'm in the middle of a whole bunch of projects. I finished my sandpaper letters (yippee! I hope to post about them this week) & counted (in bed. at 2am. when I couldn't sleep. i think I was too excited!) all of the Montessori projects that I've got going at various stages of completion. These are:

+ Number Rods
+ Small number rods
+ Fabric Box
+ Colour Boxes #2 + #3
+ Baric Tablets
+ Lock and Key PL activity
+ Control maps
+ Globe of the Continents

I've decided that I do need to order some materials (despite my previous plans to making *everything* ;) and really just need to click that purchase button and DO IT! It will take me a bit over the budget that T and I agreed upon but I'll just have to make that up somewhere else I guess! The order from Adena (I emailed them & asked for a direct contact person in advance of placing my order & have someone who emailed me) is looking like this:

Introduction to Decimal Symbols
9 units, 9 ten bars, 9 hundred squares, 1 thousand cube

9 Golden Bead Hundred Square
a second set of 9 (for addition)

Addition Snake Game
9 of each of the coloured bead strands. It was recommended that I buy the full Decanomial Bead Set but am *hoping* that this smaller set will suffice. Your thoughts?

Colored Bead Stairs 1-9.

I'm not totally sure about this, but was thinking that not having the decanomial set I might need to have 10 of each of the Coloured Bead strands for some activities (skip counting etc.) as I'm not planning on buying a full bead cabinet for the moment... Hmmm, not sure?

Bead Chains of 100
Am imagining that I might also want the Chain of 1000 but am hoping that this will get us started at least. Would the non-chained tenbars do instead?

45 Golden Bead Units (x 3 sets)
Something inexpensive! I thought having 100 might be useful.

Metal Insets with 2 Stands
I think we will get use out of these. Would have loved the Paper with Box for the Insets but Adena don't sell it.

Metal Inserts Tracing Tray
I'm hoping that the ridges on the bottom of the frame will fit pencils as I chose not to get the holder.

Knobless Cylinders (Set of 4)
Even though I've decided against the Knobbed Cylinders I thought that maybe I should still get the Knobless Cylinders as they are considerably less expensive and I imagine that both boys will use them as Hug is still into all forms of 'construction'.

Geometric Solids with Stand, Bases + Box
Still umming & ahhing here. I should proabbly take this off the list & buy the ones from Australia that need painting...

Binomial Cube
Don't imagine being able to make one of these! Will I want the Trinomial much later?

Tree Puzzle
Maybe i won't get it if I have to cut back... but I'd love these & thought maybe 1 is a start at least

I'd love. love. love. your thoughts on these items!

BTW, The materials that I already have/made are:

+ (natural) Pink Tower - but planning to paint it
+ Broad Stair
+ Sandpaper Letters
+ Shoelacing activity

So, What *essentials* am I missing?
What am I buying unnecessarily?

Fb Comments
Comments :


  1. Looks like you have a good grasp here. I would NOT buy the inset tracing tray. From what I have been taught the children need to hold the metal inset with one hand and trace with the other as in printing. In most Montessori environments the tray is NOT used.
    I was on a tight budget too when I purchased my items but if you want to take a look at what I started out with (I have added a few items since) here is the link
    I talked to many schools/teachers etc before placing my order so that I would really know what would be important to start out with. I have been VERY happy with my selections!

  2. Wow! It sounds like you are all set up with your very own Montessori classroom. Well done, I hope you enjoy using them!

  3. That sounds like a great list!
    My thoughts:

    I think your number of beads is just about right. We started out with just about the same thing and did fine for years. I only recently got the decanomial box and honestly have not used it very much. I'm sure we will as we get more into multiplication, but at this point we just don't need that many. The snake game has plenty of colored bead bars for most addition/subtraction needs. Not sure you would need to add more bead stair sets.

    I really like our 100 and 1000 chains. Lining up tens just does not have the same effect.

    Adding the extra golden beads units is a good idea. I got a box of 100 and we use it a lot.I would recommend getting some more thousand cubes (I have wooden ones to supplement the single bead cube that came with the intro set. They are cheaper and work fine). You will need more thousands pretty quickly.

    (btw the grooves in the meatl inset tracing tray do hold pencils.)

  4. Oh, one more thing. If you can, get the inset paper (or have lots of paper cut to size) and make a box for it to sit in. That is one item we use all the time. So VERY handy, not just for the insets, but for making little booklets, art, and many, many other uses.

  5. How exciting! I am also thinking of what to buy for the new school year, but I am just getting a big headache! Still, it's fun to get new equipment!

    My only advice is to make sure you get the correct quantities. I bought 27 wooden thousand cubes,(for the 9000 layout) and then realized I was short, and bought 9 more, but gee..I was still 9 short!

  6. Thanks so much for taking the time to give me your advice :)

    Does anyone else second Montessori Moments about the Insets tracing tray?

    MM - I loved looking over your list & was excited that I wasn't tooooo far behind. Now, if only I had the space to present everything in such a lovely way as you have.

    Theresa - I'm going to look over my order & see if there's anyway to squeeze in the 1000 chain & some wooden thousand cubes. Maybe if I don't get the Insets tracing tray? And maybe I could change the extra 9 100 squares to wooden ones too...

    I wish I could order the box for the inset paper. It's such a shame that Adena don't have a bit of a wider range. I've picked up lots of baskets on my thrifting jaunts but never any good timber boxes! As for the paper I might try a copy place & get them to cut me a bunch. I *know* it will be VERY POPULAR around here! I remember at Hug's preschool that they used a few different colours - pale blue, green & yellow? Not sure if there was a reason there...

    Koko's mama - It sure is a headache isn't it! I agree, but it's a fun sort of headache, yes :)

    I'm amazed that you have 36 thousand cubes! I wouldn't know where to store them!! I think that I'll be able to get by with the amounts I'm planning & that by the time we need more hopefully they'll understand the idea behind the amounts & that we can 'construct' more ourselves. But, I see that it's pretty important to start with something that is actually made of 1000 beads... and then move onto the more abstract idea of the wooden 1000 cube... and finally something more abstract!

    Well, wish me luck! Hopefully I'll order tonight. Eeek!

  7. Good luck with your order!
    There was quite a long discussion on some forum I belong to (don't remember where exactly) regarding the inset tracing tray. Quite a few members claimed that the tray is unnecessary. So I agree with MOntessori Moments. There is an inner logic in this point. Hope it helps.

  8. I love so much that you're making so many of your materials. My initial "to buy" list was so long but as I think about my list, I come up with way to create them myself. I feel like you're my crafty montessori kindred spirit :)

    Also, I wanted to mention that the Nienhuis catalog is AWESOME. It's our new coffee table book and the pictures are so beautiful that you'd think you were looking at an art show catalog. You are going to enjoy it. (Oh, and Nienhuis doesn't offer the tracing tray for the metal insets. Rather, they offer a rubber mat to place them on.)

  9. I bought the inset trays (from Adena) last year and I like them. The children still have to hold down the paper and inset with their hands. The trays seem to help them focus on the work a little more and make it special. I also marked the trays with a green arrow on the left a and a red dot on the right to help remind them to work from left to right.


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