Sam decided to explore the stamp game this afternoon. He had seen his friends do this work and was keen to get started. I wrote an addition question “3452 + 4435 = ” on a slip of paper and we got started finding out the answer.

Sam had to get the correct quantities of wooden “stamps” representing the units, tens, hundreds and thousands for the first number on the question. He then had to get the correct quantities for the second number and place them below the ruler. He knew the “+” sign meant he had to add the two quantities together to get the sum of the 2 numbers.

After counting the total in each category, he wrote the answers on the strip of paper.

Sam continued with another question, “4568 + 2653 = ” This time he realised that he had to change ten units for 1 ten, 10 tens for 1 hundred, and 10 hundreds for 1 thousand; just like he had to when he did addition operations with his friends when they used the golden bead materials from the bank game!

**What learning do I think is happening here?**

The stamp game is more symbolic as each quantity is represented by wooden stamps with the numerals representing units, tens, hundreds and thousands. It leads Sam towards greater abstraction from the very concrete unit and ten beads, hundred squares and thousand cubes when he was first introduced to the decimal system.

Sam is also reinforcing his knowledge about static and dynamic addition that he learned while playing the “bank game” with addition with his friends. Now he can do it independently with these wooden stamps.

**Opportunities and possibilities? **

We will give Sam opportunities to repeat this game as often as he likes and introduce him to other numerical operations – subtraction, multiplication and division as Sam shows interest in them. These materials are available in the Montessori primary classroom as well !