# Montessori Math Sandpaper Numerals

Montessori Math Sandpaper Numerals are a key component of the Montessori math curriculum, designed to introduce young children to the concept of numbers and numerals through a tactile and sensory experience. They are typically used in preschool or early elementary Montessori classrooms.

Sandpaper numerals come at the beginning of the Montessori math sequence. Sandpaper numerals are the second lesson after number rods.

## What are Montessori Sandpaper Numerals?

The Sandpaper Numerals consist of a set of wooden or cardboard cards, each representing a numeral from 0 to 9. These cards are designed to be visually and tactually appealing. The numerals are cut out from sandpaper and mounted on thick, sturdy cards to provide a textured surface.

## What is the purpose of Sandpaper Numerals?

The purpose of using sandpaper is to engage the child’s sense of touch and enhance their learning experience. By tracing their fingers over the sandpaper numerals, children can feel the texture, which helps them develop muscle memory and a kinesthetic understanding of the shape and formation of each number.

The Montessori Math Sandpaper Numerals serve multiple purposes in the Montessori classroom. They help children develop fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and the ability to recognize and write numerals accurately. Additionally, this tactile approach to learning numbers creates a strong foundation for later mathematical concepts, such as addition, subtraction, and place value.

## How are the Sandpaper Numerals used in a preschool classroom?

The Montessori Math Sandpaper Numerals are used in a step-by-step progression, starting with the introduction of the numbers in sequence from 0 to 9. Children are encouraged to trace the numerals with their fingers, feeling the texture and following the strokes of each number. This process helps them internalize the formation of the numbers and reinforces the concept of number sequencing.

Once children become familiar with the numerals, they can move on to activities that involve associating quantity with the corresponding numeral. This can be done by using objects such as counting beads or counters, where children match the quantity of objects to the respective numeral card. They can also practice writing the numbers on paper or using materials like sand or salt trays.

## Montessori Math Sandpaper Numerals Presentation

Invite the child to do the work. Point out that a large mat is needed for the work.

Remind the child that we must always wash our hands before doing this work.

Place box in front of you, pull one and two tablets and place the box in the upper left hand corner of the mat.

“This is how we write one.”

Steady tablet with the left hand, trace with middle and index fingers: “This is one.”

Invite the child to trace and say one.

Repeat with two tablets.

Introduce in sets of two until the child is proficient. Emphasize the 3 period lesson.

## Variations & Extensions

Variations include playing Memory, “What’s missing?”, “Knock, Knock”, secret message games like tracing a number on a child’s back or palm and having the child guess which number and “go fish”.

The Montessori Math Sandpaper Numerals serve multiple purposes in the Montessori classroom. They help children develop fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and the ability to recognize and write numerals accurately. Additionally, this tactile approach to learning numbers creates a strong foundation for later mathematical concepts, such as addition, subtraction, and place value.

Warmly,
Marnie

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