## Montessori Materials are NOT the Educational Content Part I

Posted by Erika Ohlhaver on May 23rd 2024

##### Part I

Depending on when you personally were educated, when you took your Montessori training, or how frequently you choose to review what is current in the educational arena, you may or may not be aware of what children in K-12 are expected to know in their mathematical education. Working with today’s standards is a multi-level process, not unlike the four presentations of whole number checkerboard! Like this series of Montessori presentations, students’ mathematical understanding is moved from simple to complex with a series of integrated concepts.

Today’s standards are broken down into two distinct areas, content standards and process standards. To abstractly complete the multiplication series, the child must know his multiplication facts in order to arrive abstractly at the product of a multi-digit multiplication problem.

Today’s students are expected to show multiple ways to arrive at a solution of a word problem and to communicate that process. We have been doing this in the language and cultural curriculum for decades, it is time we provide the same opportunities for the math curriculum. Once again, Dr. Montessori was ahead of her time and none of the five process standards should pose a difficulty for Montessori students. The beauty of the Montessori math curriculum is that it shows the same concept from multiple perspectives. Just think of the multiple representations embedded in the multiplication sequence in both facts and operations! Current standards demand we as teachers must do a better job of asking our students to communicate how they arrived at their solution! Verifying that students calculated the correct answer is no longer the expectation of teachers today. Using higher level questioning and scaffolding students’ thinking is how we build connections.

The Five Content Standards:

1. Numbers and Operations
2. Algebra
3. Geometry
4. Measurement
5. Data Analysis and Probability

The Five Process Standards:

1. Problem Solving
2. Reasoning and Proof
3. Communications
4. Connections
5. Representations