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Montessori Math Lessons for Addition {Free Printables}


I am beyond excited to show you this beautiful setup on Montessori Math lessons for addition. Montessori is simply a fantastic method to use overall, but I have a personal love for Montessori’s Math materials in particular.Montessori Math Lessons for Addition {Free Printables}

In this post, we will show you two addition lessons: one using the Small Number Rods with Sister (she is 3.5 years old) and one lesson using the Addition Strip Board with Brother (he is 5.5 years old). Also, don’t forget to get your free printable addition template! It is wonderful because it can be used for many of the Montessori Math works.

Montessori Math Lessons for Addition {Free Printables}

This is the awesome addition template that you can get for free in this post. You can use it in three ways. I love using all three. One option is to just print it two times (double-sided) and use a pencil to fill it out (middle paper in the picture). This can be erased and reused, but it might leave marks.

The second way is to use a clear sleeve. In this clear sleeve (yellow trim to the far right in the picture), you can slip papers in and out and you can use dry erase markers or dry erase crayons to fill it out. The third method is simply to laminate the template using a thermal laminator and a laminating pouch (shown on the left in the picture above).

Montessori Small Numerical RodsMontessori Small Numerical RodsKid Advance Montessori Subtraction Strip BoardKid Advance Montessori Subtraction Strip BoardAmazonBasics Thermal LaminatorAmazonBasics Thermal LaminatorAmazonBasics Thermal Laminating Pouches - 8.9-Inch x 11.4-Inch,AmazonBasics Thermal Laminating Pouches – 8.9-Inch x 11.4-Inch,


Small Number Rods Box

The Small Number Rods Box can be used for many works, but today, you will see an addition lesson. To the left, you see the initial setup for this lesson. You need three items: a 2×3 mat, a Small Number Rods Box and the free printable addition template with a writing utensil.

Montessori Math Lessons for Addition {Free Printables}

Next, the child will set one of the number rods like a stair, to the left of the mat.

Then, the child will setup the same stair to the right of the mat. You can see what the setup will look like to begin the addition lesson

The Small Number Rods stair on the left will be the control of error for this lesson.

For the Presentation, pick an easy rod from the control of error, like a three. In our case, I picked five. Place the rod on the mat closer to the child.
Next, pick a number from the right stair (we chose three). Place the three underneath the control of error rod and align them so red matches red and blue matches blue.

Montessori Math Lessons for Addition {Free Printables}Tell the child, “We have 5 here. We have one, two, three here. How many more do we need to make 5?” The child counts the empty spaces below the control of error and responds, “two.”

Next, the child will find the two in the stair on the right and places it next to the 3 to complete five.

Now both the control of error (five) should match with the addition sentence below it (three and two). The last step is to write this addition sentence on the addition template using a dry erase marker or a dry erase crayon.

Continue coming up with different addition sentences using the control of error on the left. You can start easy using 1+2=3, 2+1=3, 3+1=4, 1+3=4, 3+2=5, 2+3=5, etc. I did three with Sister and then I let her do two on her own. When we were done, we put the Small Number Rods back into the box and we used a small dry erase eraser to clean the template (hers was laminated).

Addition Strip Board 1

Montessori Math Lessons for Addition {Free Printables}

And now, for Brother’s addition lesson using the Addition Strip Board. Isn’t it beautiful? Look at the setup for the lesson.

For this particular lesson, you will need: a 2×3 mat, the addition template, a writing utensil and  an Addition Strip Board with the number strips.

To begin the lesson, Brother set up his blue stair to the left of the Addition Strip Board. As you can see, the blue strips are a solid blue with only a number on the far right.

Next, Brother set up his red stair to the right of the Addition Strip Board. As you can see, the red stair has squares marked on the strips. Now, we are ready to start adding.

Montessori Math Lessons for Addition {Free Printables}

Brother picked a number out of the blue strips stair and placed it on the Addition Strip Board (see picture on the right).

Addition Strip Board 2

Then, he picked a number out of the red strips stair and placed it to the right of the blue strip.

The last step is to write the addition sentence on the addition template. In our case, he wrote 6+3=9.

If the child is understanding the lesson well, sit back in silence and let the child work on more addition sentences.

The addition template has room for five addition sentences, but more can be done if the template is laminated.

This (first picture below) is what Brother’s work was looking around halfway though the lesson. He was really enjoying it and doing it alone very well. The addition sentences can be random or they can be by number families (1+1, 1+2, 1+3, 1+4, 1+5, etc).

Montessori Math Lessons for Addition {Free Printables}

The important thing is that the child is learning and that the child knows the three steps:

  1. blue strip first
  2. red strip next
  3. write addition sentence down


Once Brother was done with the main lesson, we moved on to an extension. The point of this lesson is to find as many ways as possible to find addition sentences to make the same number. In our case, Brother found as many ways as he could to add up to 12.

Another extension we worked on that day was one that employs the Commutative Law. The Commutative Law states that a+b=b+a, so Brother used the Addition Strip Board to make addition sentences using it. You can see which ones he came up with in the last picture above. He made 2+3=5 and 3+2=5, 4+1=5 and 1+4=5, 5+6=11 and 6+5=11. He did a fantastic job.

I hope you found these lessons helpful. I wish I could write more details about the lessons, but I had to stop myself because I love Math and I’d write about it forever. But be sure and grab your free printable so you can use it with these lessons.

Montessori at home Math Lessons for Addition {Free Printables}

C-Line Reusable Dry Erase Pockets, 9 x 12C-Line Reusable Dry Erase Pockets, 9 x 12Board Dudes SRX Magnetic Dry Erase Markers, 6-Pack,Board Dudes SRX Magnetic Dry Erase Markers, 6-Pack,My First Montessori Book of NumbersMy First Montessori Book of NumbersMath Works: Montessori Math and the Developing BrainMath Works: Montessori Math and the Developing Brain


Free Printable Montessori Math Lessons for Addition {Free Printables}

The awesome thing about this addition template is that it can be used with the Montessori Addition Box, the Small Number Rods Box, the Addition Strip Board, the Colored Bead Stair, the Large Bead Frame and many other Montessori Math works.

Get the free printable here!


Montessori Math Lessons for Addition {Free Printables}

Get this free printable, too!


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Montessori Math Lessons for Addition {Free Printables}

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  1. What a fabulous post! I love the addition activity you presented using the number rods. I hadn’t thought to use them for addition. Your addition strip board activities are great. We are just getting ready to do the commutative law this month. Now I have an idea on how to teach it!

  2. Thanks for posting about both the addition strip board and small number rods! where did you purchase the sheet protector with the colored border?

  3. I love the work with the small number rods. I don’t have a set and now I want one! I love seeing the pictures of the addition strip board as well. Thanks for the printable!

  4. This is just perfect! We live in a very small space right now and I have been torn on how to help my son with math. These small rods are exactly what I have been searching for. Thank you!

  5. I’ve been wanting to get these materials and just by reading your post, makes me itch to get it even more! Love this and will definitely be using this with Vito. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Hi, I love your blog. We have a lot in common. I was wondering if you are planning to continue using ACE as your children get older. In my area, ACE gets a bad rap. I have used it for over 17 years with my children. We have joined a CC community this year. My youngest is 5 1/2 and we did the kindergarten with Ace & Christi last year and I am trying to decide if I should continue. My older children did well with it. We always supplemented lots of whole book reading.
    Thank you.


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