Montessori in a Minute: The Stamp Game
The Stamp Game is a Montessori math material used by students in Primary and the first year of Lower Elementary as a way to compute math problems in each of the mathematical areas. This material leads them through practice of abstract math concepts. Wooden 1-inch squares, resembling stamps, are housed in a wooden box alongside a pencil, ruler, and grid paper. The squares are colored red, blue, or green (for place value) and are marked with a numerical value.
The green stamps are marked as either 1 or 1,000. The blue stamps are marked as 10 and the red stamps are marked as 100. Children are shown how to break down these abstract mathematical concepts using grid paper and stamps.
For example, a number such as 1,436 would be explained as six units, three tens, four hundreds, and one thousand. Children are able to use these stamps to break down these numbers in order to add, multiply, subtract, and divide them while developing a deeper, more concrete understanding of place value and carrying. Over time this material helps students imbed the values as well as the computational process in their skill set.
Montessori schools like Hudson Montessori School utilize specially designed tools like the Stamp Game to promote experiential and sensorial learning that can be practiced repeatedly at each age level. Often, these tools are self-correcting, allowing the child to check their work and adjust accordingly. This Montessori In A Minute series regularly explores the unique benefits of these fundamental materials.