Incorporating the Montessori Division Board: Advice for Educators and Parents

division board

The Montessori Division Board is an innovative educational tool revered for its simplicity and effectiveness in teaching young learners the complex concept of division. Rooted in the Montessori approach, which emphasizes hands-on learning, the division board transforms abstract numerical operations into tangible and interactive experiences. This concrete method not only demystifies division but also kindles a genuine interest in mathematics among children.

Understanding division has never been more intuitive, thanks to the division board. It stands as a testament to the power of the Montessori method in fostering an environment where learning division becomes a joyous journey rather than an uphill battle. The emphasis on hands-on learning through the division board highlights the critical importance of engaging students with mathematical concepts in a tactile and visual way.

Delving into the Montessori Division Board: Exploring its Purpose

When we delve into the Montessori Division Board, we uncover a simple yet powerful tool designed to enhance children’s understanding of division. Crafted from wood, this board consists of 81 holes arranged in rows, each bearing numbers from 1 to 9. Through hands-on interaction with the division board, children can explore the concept of division in a tangible and engaging way.

Educators and parents can guide children in utilizing the Montessori Division Board to make mathematical learning more interactive and impactful. 

The Best Time to Introduce the Montessori Division Board to Children

montessori division board

The ideal time to introduce the Montessori Division Board to children is typically when they have already grasped the basics of addition, subtraction, and multiplication, usually around five and a half years of age. By this stage, children have developed foundational knowledge in mathematics, making it conducive for them to delve into the concept of division. Introducing the division board at this point allows for a seamless transition and reinforces their understanding of mathematical operations in a holistic manner.

Advantages of Using the Division Board

Embracing the Montessori Division Board offers many advantages for young learners in mathematics and division.

  • Manifests Division Tangibly: The Division Board translates the abstract concept of division into concrete, allowing learners to manipulate and visualize the division process physically. This hands-on approach significantly enhances understanding by making math less intimidating and more accessible.
  • Developmental Benefits: Engaging with the board promotes the development of fine motor skills as children handle beads and place them into containers. Furthermore, the task of dividing objects equally fosters critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, foundational skills that benefit learners beyond the classroom.
  • Enhances Independent Learning: By providing a means for self-guided exploration of division, the Division Board encourages learners to become self-reliant. This autonomy in learning cultivates confidence and allows students to progress at their own pace, developing perseverance and independence in problem-solving.
  • Opportunity for Independent Problem-Solving: Using the Division Board creates a safe space for learners to tackle mathematical problems independently. This individual hands-on practice is invaluable, promoting a deep understanding of division through personal exploration and trial and error, laying a solid foundation for advanced mathematical concepts.

Presenting the Montessori Division Board to Children

When presenting the Montessori Division Board to children, creating a structured and engaging learning environment that encourages curiosity and hands-on exploration is essential. By introducing the division board thoughtfully, educators and parents can ignite children’s interest in mathematical concepts and foster a positive attitude towards learning.


  • The unit division board
  • A box with 81 green beads
  • Nine green skittles
  • Printed division slip

Presenting the Montessori Division Board to Children

division board
  1. Begin by introducing the Montessori Division Board to the child, explaining its purpose and how it can help solve division problems.
  2. Start by showing the child the materials and inviting them to bring them to the table. This will pique their interest and engagement with the activity.
  3. Explain to the child that the numbers on the side of the division board will represent the answers to the division problems they will be working on.
  4. Provide the child with a simple division problem, such as 12 divided by 3, written on paper. This helps set the context for the practical application of the division board.
  5. Break down the division problem for the child, specifying that 12 is the dividend and 3 is the divisor. Emphasize that the dividend needs to be shared by the divisor.
  6. Proceed by placing three Skittles along the top of the board, representing the divisor.
  7. Pour 12 green beads into a glass bowl, symbolizing the dividend, and instruct the child to distribute the beads evenly under each skittle, demonstrating the concept of division visually.
  8. Guide the child to understand that the 12 beads have been distributed into three rows, with each skittle containing four beads. This illustrates how division results in equal distribution.
  9. Prompt the child to calculate the quotient by explaining that 12 divided by 3 equals 4, which is the answer they should write down on the paper.
  10. Encourage the child to replace the beads and Skittles in the bowl, promoting organizational skills and respect for the materials used.
  11. Progress to more complex division problems, like 32 divided by 7, allowing the child to apply the concepts they have learned independently. Guide them if they make errors along the way.
  12. Demonstrate the concept of the remainder using the example of 32 divided by 7, showing that after distributing them into rows, the remaining beads indicate the remainder.
  13. Ensure the child understands that the remainder can never exceed the dividend, as it represents the leftover portion after division.
  14. Engage the child in solving addition equations with varying difficulty levels, encouraging problem-solving skills and reinforcing their understanding of division concepts.
  15. Challenge the child with equations where the remainder is greater than the dividend, like 81 divided by 8, to deepen their comprehension of division principles.
  16. Guide the child to recognize such instances and explain why a remainder cannot be larger than the dividend, fostering critical thinking skills.

Activities That Go Well With a Division Board:

division board

Incorporating the Division Board into Montessori mathematics education can be remarkably effective, especially when paired with other activities. These activities work together to provide children with a comprehensive understanding of mathematical concepts by reinforcing the relationship between numbers and quantities. Here are four activities that go well with a Division Board:

  • Bead Bars: This activity involves visually representing division problems using bead bars. The physical act of separating the beads into groups can aid in comprehension and improve motor skills.
  • Group Games: This can foster cooperative learning and make learning more enjoyable. Children can take turns solving division problems on the board or work together to solve more complex problems. These activities complement the use of these Boards, helping children grasp the concept of division while also improving other vital skills. Mixing and matching these activities can add variety to the learning process, ensuring children remain engaged and interested.
  • Story Problems: Creating story problems that require division to solve can make the learning process more engaging and relatable for children. They can use the Board to solve these problems, making learning more interactive and hands-on.
  • Number Cards: Using number cards alongside the Division Bead Board can reinforce the relationship between numbers and quantities. Children can use number cards to represent the quotient and remainder.

Assessing and Supporting Progress

Supporting a child’s progress in division is essential for their growth in mathematics. Educators and parents can provide practical support by closely monitoring their understanding and adjusting teaching methods. Here are streamlined strategies:

Monitoring Understanding:

  • Watch and Learn: Observe their use of the Division Board to gauge comfort and understanding.
  • Interactive Questions: Ask how they solved a problem to reveal their thought process.
  • Direct Guidance: Offer immediate feedback and hands-on help to correct misunderstandings.

Assessing Progress:

  • Quick Checks: Use simple quizzes to measure grasp of concepts.
  • Talk About It: Discuss what they’ve learned and where they struggle to inform your approach.
  • Adapt and Overcome: Be ready to change teaching methods based on their responses and progress.

Challenging with Complexity:

  • Build on Basics: Gradually increase problem difficulty to stretch their skills.
  • Introduce New Elements: Bring in variables to prep them for advanced math.
  • Real-world Problems: Use complex, relatable scenarios to make division more engaging.

Encouraging Parental Involvement

division board

Involving parents in their child’s division practice can boost understanding and enjoyment. Here’s how parents can support their child’s use of the Division Board at home, make learning a team effort, and seamlessly include division activities into daily life:

Supporting Division Board Use at Home:

  • Join the Fun: Sit down with your child and let them show you how they use the Division Board. It’s a great way to participate and show interest.
  • Stay Positive: Encourage your child by celebrating their effort and progress, no matter how small.
  • Practice Together: Regularly work on division problems using the Division Board, making it a shared activity.

The Power of Learning Together:

  • Learning as a Team: Work on problems together. When children teach concepts they’ve learned, it reinforces their understanding and builds confidence.
  • Address Mistakes Openly: Mistakes are valuable learning opportunities. Discuss any errors openly without judgment to promote a healthy learning attitude.

Integrating Division into Daily Life:

  • Everyday Math: Find everyday moments to practice division, like dividing up snacks or sharing toys, making math part of everyday life.
  • Set Challenges: Create small, fun challenges for your child to solve with the Division Board, like planning a family dinner within a specific budget.
  • Create a Routine: Incorporate Division Board time into your daily schedule as part of after-school activities or a weekend morning routine.


The Division Board is pivotal in enriching a child’s mathematical journey, offering an interactive and practical approach to mastering division concepts. By integrating Montessori tools like the Division Board, children develop a deeper understanding and a more robust foundation in mathematics, fostering skill and confidence.
For a comprehensive exploration of how Montessori tools can transform learning, visit our Montessori Academy website. Embrace the Montessori methodology to give your child a profound and lasting grasp of mathematics, ensuring they are well-equipped for future academic and life challenges. Join us to make learning an adventure filled with growth and discovery.