Montessori education places significant importance on hands-on learning and self-discovery using specially designed classroom materials that foster a child's curiosity and quest for knowledge. The Spindle Box is one of many materials in the classroom that helps Toddlers and Primary children develop a concrete understanding of numbers and engage with math using their hands.
The Spindle Box teaches children about quantity and its symbolic representation and numerical order. The goal is to help children associate each numeral with a specific amount of objects. This material consists of a wooden box with 10 compartments numbered “0 to 9” and wooden spindles or rods corresponding to the compartments’ numbers (young toddlers use a “0 to 4” Spindle Box). Students count out the spindles that correspond with the numerals on the box and place them in the compartment with the matching numeral.
The Importance of the Spindle Box
The Spindle Box encourages independent learning. Once a child is introduced to the activity and understands the concept, they work on correctly matching the spindles to the corresponding box independently and at their own pace.
Students can check their work at the end of the activity by checking if any spindles are left over or missing which allows the child to find and correct their mistakes. Most importantly, it teaches the concept of zero by showing that zero means no spindles in the compartment. Using this material also helps children develop fine motor skills and coordination.
Teachers also use this material in several activities and extensions. Once they master corresponding numerals, students can use the Spindle Box to practice sequencing numbers, skip counting, and basic addition and subtraction using the spindles.
The Montessori in a Minute Series
The Montessori In A Minute series regularly explores the unique benefits of Montessori philosophy, its fundamental materials, and areas of the classroom. For all parents at Hudson Montessori School (Jersey City, New Jersey), the school hosts Parent Education Nights every year to teach parents about the Montessori method and how the students learn curriculum components using a Montessori framework.
Contact us to learn more about Hudson Montessori School's interdisciplinary, theme-based learning approach to education, the Montessori philosophy and methodology, or how the school fosters the love of learning for children aged 2 to eighth grade.