Montessori Math-Formation of Decimal Numeral Cards

The Montessori approach to teaching numbers and quantity is based on the understanding that young children need to learn through concrete experiences before they can move to abstract activities. Children first learn to count using materials like the number rods and spindle boxes, which allow them to physically manipulate objects and see the relationship between numbers and quantity. By allowing children to learn through concrete activities and follow their own interests, they develop a strong sense of mathematical operations and begin to understand the concepts of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. They also learn to recognize patterns and relationships between numbers, which lays the foundation for more advanced mathematical concepts.

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Decimal Numeral Cards are a set of 36 wooden numeral cards that ranges from numbers 1 to 9000. It is designed to help young children understand the concept of place value and the formation of decimal numbers. In Montessori method of learning, wooden numeral cards are a type of material used to teach children about numbers and number concepts. These cards are typically made of wood and are designed to be used with other Montessori math materials, such as the number rods, and golden beads.

Wooden Decimal Numeral Cards Color System:

  • 1000 to 9000 – Green (thousands)
  • 100 to 900 – Red (hundreds)
  • 10 to 90 – Blue (tens)
  • 1 to 9 – Green (units)


To develop an understanding of the decimal system and place value. Through this activity, children learn how the position of a digit in a number affects its value and how to create and order decimal numbers from thousands to units. By using the decimal numeral cards, children can visualize and manipulate the numbers, making the abstract concepts of place value and decimal numbers more concrete and tangible. This hands-on approach helps children develop a solid foundation for more complex math concepts in the future.

Helps children develop important cognitive skills, such as concentration and problem-solving. Children use their critical thinking skills to determine which numeral cards to select and where to place them in order to create decimal numbers. This helps children develop their analytical and logical reasoning abilities. This Montessori math activity promotes the development of children’s executive functioning skills, such as working memory, planning, and cognitive control.

The Formation of Decimal Numeral Cards activity is based on research showing that children learn best when they are actively engaged in the learning process and when they are able to make connections between new concepts and their existing knowledge. This activity provides children with a concrete way of understanding the abstract concepts of place value and decimal numbers, making it easier for them to understand and apply these concepts in future math activities. Below are the list of materials and instructions to present this activity in your classroom or a Montessori homeschool setting.



  1. Place the material on a rug, and lay the decimal numeral cards out in categories from right to left, units to thousands, and from top to bottom, ones to nines.

2. Choose a task/command card

3. Ask the child to bring a card from four different categories (thousands, hundreds, tens and unit )

4. Place the unit card over the significant cipher of the greater card. Then shift or tap the cards so that the unit card falls down to its place over the zero place holder of the ten card. Then continue with the hundred then thousand card.

5. Omit a category and tap the cards into place. This dramatizes zero as a place holder.

6. Replace the numeral cards correctly back in the decimal numeral card layout.

7. Replace the numeral cards on the tray or box.

8. Return the material to the shelf.

Direct Aim:

-Development of order, concentration, coordination and independence.

-Reinforce the categories of the numerals.

-Communicate the “adult” wording for numbers.

Indirect Aim:

-It is the place a numeral occupies in the complex of numerals that assigns value.

-In a complex of numerals, the zero simply indicates the lack of quantity in that particular category.


Montessori Research and Development Math Teaching Manual (Early Childhood)

56 Formation of Numerals Task/Command Cards

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