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# What do know about the decimal system?

The Decimal System
The decimal system is a numeral system which organises and classifies numerical
quantities into different hierarchies of units. In the Montessori class it is offered
when the child can count to ten with complete understanding; with the knowledge
of the symbols 1-9 and can recognise zero. The child is given the total decimal
system – clearly, simply, harmoniously and with its unlimited, universal
applicability. More knowledge at this stage (such as knowledge of the teens and
words used to describe the tens) distracts from the enjoyment of the minimalist
aesthetic. At this stage the child knows what is necessary and sufficient to see and
apply the laws governing the decimal system (that ten units can be dynamically
exchanged for one of the category above etc.) The young child’s Sensitive Period
for Order and Classification ensures a greater thrill for handling large quantities at
this stage.
Geometrical entities are used by Montessori as Material Abstractions for the
decimal system of numeration

1 Golden Bead is a unit (point)
10 Golden Beads make a ‘bar of ten’
10 ‘bars of ten’ make a ‘hundred square’
10 ‘hundred squares’ make a ‘thousand cube’

How would you enable children to count any quantity and identify numerals
till 9999?
1. This should preferably be done as a groups exercise.
2. Invite a few children have done the previous exercises.
3. Bring the material to a table/ mat with the help of the child.
4. Spread the mat on the table and lay out the material in the correct order.
5. The children stand in front of the table and the teacher at the back. The material
should be in correct order facing the children.
6. Begin with only one hierarchy, until the children are doing the work easily.
7. Put a quantity on the tray. e,g put four hundred squares on the tray.
8. Show it to the group and ask: "Who can count how much is this?"

12. g 3 thousand cubes.9. 10. Everyone else watch Ali quietly. When a child has answered correctly. If a child does not participate. 11. on the tray and ask another child to count it. Continue the exercise till the children can count any quantity 9999. Then put another quantity. E. e.g 4 thousands and 7 hundreds in the tray and ask a child to count it. use quantities from more than two hierarchies. announce while you make a number that the quantity is for “Ali” to count. Continue the exercise in this way. Also do the extension exercise with quantities from more than one hierarchy. When the children can easier count quantities from one hierarchy separately. . put the material back on the table.