Saturday, June 1, 2013

Montessori Math vs. Math-U-See

Remember I said I bought Math-U-See (in a moment of weakness)  because it had a step by step set of lessons.  Well, I guess I had forgotten about Meg's albums and Gettman, because now that I'm going through them, they do have a "list" of lessons.  But, its done, I've already spent the money ($158) on Math-U-See, now I need to make it work as much as possible for now.  However, I will have to spend an additional $73 each year if I stay with it.

I'm going to go through the Math-U-See lessons and see how they compare to Meg's albums.  Since I'm using Meg's albums as my primary Montessori Math resource, I guess it would have made more sense to use her groupings.  I'll just start with group two:

Group 2: Decimal System and Operations
  • Bead Presentation
  • Presentation with Cards
  • Formation of Numbers with Beads and Cards 
  • Collective Exercises
    • Addition 
    • Subtraction 
    • Multiplication 
    • Division 
    • Division with Bows 
  • Stamp Game
    • Orientation 
    • Addition 
    • Subtraction 
    • Multiplication 
    • Division

Math-U-See is similar in some respects.  It uses manipulatives and starts out (after learning everything that is also in Meg's group 1) with Unit Bars.  Here is the TOC starting with lesson 11 from Math-U-See:
11. Unit Bars
12. Addition: Introduction and Symbolism
13. Addition +1
14. Counting to 20
15. Addition: 2+2 and 3+3; Vertical Addition
16. Shapes: Squares; Addition: 4+4 and 5+5
17. Skip counting by 2
18. Addition of Tens
19. Skip Counting by 10
20. Addition of Hundreds
21 Solving for an Unknown

22 Skip Counting by Five

23 Tally Marks

24 Addition: Making 10

25 Skip Count to Find Area

26 Telling Time with Minutes

27 Telling Time with Hours

28 Telling Time with Minutes and Hours
29 Subtraction: Introduction and Symbolism
30 Subtraction: –1

It looks like the two methods are covering very similar material.  Honestly, I like the Montessori way better, except for having to spend so much on the bead material. In my next post I'll really get into how much I'd have to spend, but right now I need to figure out if I'm okay with Math-U-See.  My main gripe with Math-U-See comes down to one thing - WORKSHEETS!

Concepts are taught with the blocks, then the child is supposed to practice using worksheets.  There are about 400 pages in his workbook!


  1. I too am teaching montessori. I like math u see way better. I'm looking for math u see worksheets do you know of any? I have brand new montessori beeds if you are up to trading? please email me tessy_barnett"at"

    1. Hi, I don't know of any worksheets other than what I bought directly from math-u-see. I've already purchased beads, but thanks anyways!