Mathematics: Teen Board

The traditional Montessori Teen Board is used to show children how tens and ones make teens; it is a visual and physical application of building numbers to enable understanding. Quite specific materials are used for the lesson: a teen board as well as bead bars but as with most Montessori lessons, once you’ve understood both principle and application, you can get creative with the materials at your disposal.

Have a look at the tutorial below by My Works Montessori to see how the lesson is presented:

You’ll notice that the ten boards are placed on the left and the number boards on the right whilst the bead bars serve as a representation of the tens and ones. The lesson begins by pointing to the tens and asking your child to articulate the number and then placing bead bards of equal value next to the number in question – and is repeated until number 19. Your child’s ability to take over the work from you is an assessment of his knowledge.

He may ask about the empty slot at the bottom of the teen board. If he doesn’t, ask him what he thinks might belong there. Once he realises that it is the number 20, point out that twenty is two tens and it is not a teen.