Maria Montessori believed that children can absorb mathematical concepts naturally through the joyful repetition of practical life and sensorial activities. It therefore makes sense that one of the best ways to introduce the principles of fractions is at home through everyday activities, like: cutting a pie, a banana or a sandwich into halves or quarters, baking and measuring ingredients and what about folding dishtowels or clothing.

montessori maths and fractions

The concepts of wholes, halves, thirds, quarters and so on can be worked into daily routines to reinforce learning at school and also to make it easier when fractions are introduced in a school context.

If you would like to be more intentional at home with support learning or perhaps you would like to know how we teach fractions in a Montessori school environment, watch the below tutorial by My Montessori Works to see how the lesson is introduced:

What you’ll need for this lesson is: ten circles (you can trace the lid of a can onto card) cut into the appropriate fractions, from a whole, halves and thirds, all the way up to tenths. Start off by introducing your child to the first four fractions, up to quarters – using the appropriate circles to visualise and explain each fraction. Once your child has grasped the basic principles, you can work through all the way to tenths.

What you’ll notice in the lesson tutorial is how the concepts are represented creatively as well as visually – Trevor is encouraged to think of the circles as a cheese pizza, which automatically infers the notion of slices (parts of a whole). This sensorial impression of fractions helps with understanding and is the building blocks for more complicated mathematical concepts.

If you’d like further information about this tutorial, feel free to contact us at info@saintandrewsmontessori.com. We’re happy to answer any questions.