We Don’t Teach Children How to Add and Subtract

“The guide or teacher must be sure to provide the child with the right tools at the right time in the child’s development to interest the child in mathematics. If interested, the child can discover relationships for him/herself where it is understood that abstraction is an individual process that cannot be forced”. – Dr. Maria Montessori

Lower Elementary students learning how to measure the size of a room using a non-standard unit of measurement  (Hint: If you know the length of a floor tile…)


At EMS, we don’t just teach children how to add and subtract, we teach them how to act and react.

In Montessori the abstract process of math is the final step of a long series of exercises.  For most students who have studied within a traditional system, numbers on the page are just that – symbols they are taught how to manipulate.  To Montessori students, those symbols represent very concrete ideas that they have physically manipulated; they fully understand what they mean, how they work, and how to apply.

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