Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Introducing the Stamp Game

The stamp game is one of my favorite pieces of math materials [as are almost all the other materials!] and recently I introduced it to one of my 6-9 class children.
Before doing this activity they worked through the golden beads  completing all the counting, changing, addition, multiplication and subtraction activities. I didn't do division yet as I felt the child was getting bored and needed to move onto another activity, so they'll be working with the stamp game as well as doing division with the golden beads.
The child will need a good understanding of the decimal system and changing [i.e ten units for a 10 bar and so on] to work with the stamp game, so its a good idea to do the 100 and 1000 chain before this.

Step 1: To introduce I ask the child to go get me 1000, 100, 10 and 1unit from the golden beads and I show the child how the tiles from the stamp game are equal in value to the golden beads. This is just one of those tiny steps you should do in order to help the child progress through the materials gradually and to help them see the relationship between of materials. 
When I do this i usually say something like 'I see you've been working with the golden beads a lot lately and you  seem to be getting all your sums right with them. Would you like me to show you another way you can do those sums with a new material?'

Step 2: Next I tell the child a quantity and ask them to make it on the mat. If they're finding this confusing then they can make it with the golden beads and with the stamp game.
I do a few quantities just to make sure the child can make them with ease.

Step 3: Now we start a simple addition sum similar to those we did with the golden beads.

Here I have photos of a child doing addition with the stamp game with change. Here's how you present this:
Step 1: Ask the child to read the question and make the first quantity with the stamp game.

Step 2: Ask the child to make the next quantity below the first making sure they leave a gap between them.

Step 3: Show the child how to push all the stamps together to start counting. 

Step 4: the child counts starting from the units and upon reaching 10 units the child is shown how to change 10units with 1 ten.  They should already understand this from working with the golden beads. The changed ten is placed at the top of the ten column as one would write it when doing a written sum. The remaining units are counted and noted on the question sheet.
Step 5; The rest of the stamps are counted in the same way, exchanging when necessary.

Once all have been counted and answer noted the child can check the answer on the control card.

I've used the mat I posted about here for the stamp game, I've decided to make another one to be used only with the stamp game as sometimes more than one child needs the mat for different activities. I'm wondering if it would be better made out of another material, any ideas??

Jennie at Our Montessori Story posted a link to this website that has a free stamp game download. 

Apparently Maria Montessori originally used real posting stamps for the stamp game. A great lesson to learn from this example is that there are many materials in our environment that can be reused to create fun and exciting activities for language, mathematics or other areas. I'm going to go through my things this week and see what activities I can create from things I already have.

Susan at The Moveable Alphabet also has a post about the stamp game worth checking :)

I'll post about multiplication and division with the stamp game soon.

1 comment:

Montessori At Home! said...

Very nice pictorial / tutorial! Really appreciate your work on this.