Skip to main content

Math Work at 3 - Parts of a Whole

At 3.5-years-old, Nora has a lot of different interests. Here at home and at school, we follow her lead and let her natural desires drive her activity. Right now, Nora has taken an interest in math work. At school, she spends her time working on the number rods, sandpaper numerals, and counting in general. Here at home, I have seen the same interest intensify. She has been counting everything and pointing out numbers she finds around the house. 

Math work in our Montessori home includes an early introduction to fractions at 3-years-old

This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. 

Since she does attend a Children's House I don't feel the need to duplicate traditional Montessori materials here at home. But, I do want to have materials available that fit her current interests and needs. And, that's where parts of a whole work have come in! Basically, this work is fraction work. But, instead of introducing it as "this is 1/8" we have used these materials to talk about all the different ways to make 1 cube or 1 circle. Specifically, we have had two different materials on her shelves.

Fraction Cube 

This fraction cube is basically a small wooden box with a bunch of small pieces that make a whole cube. Nora can use a variety of combinations to fill the box and make a cube. Or, make several cubes stacking on top of one another. Then, Nora can count the number of blocks she used to make the whole.

Math work in our Montessori home includes an early introduction to fractions at 3-years-old

She absolutely loves this work. It's one of the things she chooses the most from her play shelves these days. There are so many different combinations that will make the cube that it seems to be an interesting challenge for her. 

Fraction Circles

The other parts of a whole work we have on our shelves right now are fraction circles! Again, we aren't introducing the specific concept of "fraction" but the relationship between smaller pieces and creating something larger. This work is more like a traditional puzzle with the color matching aspect. But, it has the flexibility to change the pieces to see which fractions go together to make a whole circle. This toy is much more extensive with lots of circles to use. 

Math work in our Montessori home includes an early introduction to fractions at 3-years-old

At this point, Nora really loves making the color-coded circles. Henry was working with her and was discovering the pieces that could be used together to create the whole. In first grade, we are giving him the language to match the pieces and a deeper understanding of fractions. So, this work will last Nora (and Henry) for years to come! 

Does your 3-year-old like math? What kind of materials have you introduced at home? 



M. said…
My daughter is the same age and getting the same lessons at her Montessori. Hi Ho Cherrio has been a massive hit lately.

Popular Posts

The Ultimate Montessori Toy List -- Birth to Five -- UPDATED 2020

When you are interested in Montessori, it can be difficult to know exactly what types of products you should get for your home. Or which types of "Montessori" materials are really worth the price. There are no rules about types of products can use the name Montessori which can add to the confusion. Not to mention, every toy manufacturer slaps the word "educational" on the package for good measure! 2020 UPDATE: This list is updated for another year! Enjoy a variety of Montessori friendly finds from both major retailers and smaller shops!  So, with this post, I'm going to try to help with this confusion! Here's a list of Montessori-friendly toys and materials for babies, toddlers and preschoolers.  First, let's clarify that there is no such thing as a "Montessori toy." Montessori never created toys, but only works for classroom settings. While there are many works that I recommend for home school use, you won't find these

Sensitive Periods from Birth to 6 - A Chart and Guide

Dr. Maria Montessori spent her life observing, studying, and writing about children. During her lifetime of work she discovered that young children move through a series of special times when they are particularly attracted to specific developmental needs and interests. She called these times, sensitive periods. During the sensitive period, children learn skills related to the sensitive period with ease. They don't tire of that work, but seek it, crave it and need it. When the sensitive period passes, this intense desire is gone, never to return.  That doesn't mean the skill is lost forever once the sensitive period is over. Instead, it just means that it will take a more conscious effort to learn. As Dr. Montessori explains,  This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. "A child learns to adjust himself and make acquisitions in his sensitive periods. These are like a beam that lights interiorly a battery that furnishes energy. It is this sensibility which enables

Working from Home with Kids - A Montessori Schedule

One part of my life that I haven't talked a ton about here on The Kavanaugh Report is how I'm a work-from-home parent. Eight years ago I started to work at home while parenting full time. For the first several years, I worked as a legal writer while maintaining this space on the side. When Gus was born, I moved into working on sharing our Montessori life full time. It has blossomed into a full time career sharing content here, teaching courses, and now the podcast! Through it all, my kids have been home with me.  This all seems more relevant to so many of us now that Covid-19 has closed schools and forced parents to stay at home and work while caring for children. I'm not going to lie - it's tough. It's hard to balance work and kids, especially when children are used to a completely different routine. But, it's not impossible! And, it can even be enjoyable.  As I talk about in my podcast Shelf Help , we block our days into 3 hours groups. It helps