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Montessori in a Minute: The Snake Game

Montessori educators teach mathematic concepts through hands-on, sensorially rich materials and experiential learning activities. The Montessori Snake Game is an engaging math activity that introduces Primary and Lower Elementary students to addition.


Teachers show students colored bead bars representing the numbers one through ten. Bead bars are made of colored beads arranged on a straight wire in quantities from one to ten. A unique color represents each bead bar's quantity, which helps a child recognize the amount associated with the color of the beads. The beads are arranged in a snake-like pattern, hence the materials’ name.


Children select a bead bar and place it on their work mat. Then, they choose a new bead bar and connect it to the first, creating a "snake" chain of beads. The goal is for children to visually recognize that combining the two sets of beads results in a larger quantity. This process is repeated as they build and make the chain longer.


Significance of the Snake Game

The Snake Game is a tangible and concrete representation of addition that helps students understand how numbers combine to make a larger quantity. Working with physical objects instead of abstract concepts on paper enhances the child's understanding of addition in a hands-on way.


An important hallmark of Montessori materials is their emphasis on independence, and the Snake Game is no exception. Because the game is self-correcting, children can work on the activity independently and develop a sense of accomplishment as they manipulate the beads and observe the patterns they create


The Montessori Snake Game exemplifies the philosophy of Dr. Maria Montessori by blending sensorial “play” with learning. As children engage with the colorful beads and build their snakes, they learn about addition and refine essential cognitive and motor skills. This interactive approach to math sets the stage for a lifelong love of learning and instills the confidence to explore and understand complex concepts from an early age.


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.










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