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Montessori Number Roll (with printable)

The Montessori Number Roll is one of my favorite Montessori activities for Linear Counting.  Both my classroom children and my oldest daughter go nuts for it.  Our number rolls are so long they spread across the lawn!  Number rolls are so attractive to children; to write out numbers, and have the opportunity to see them go so high.
units number roll


The child writes the numbers in order; keeping place value as units, tens, hundreds, thousands, etc. I enjoy using paper grids with the initials of the decimal order, available for free download here.  When beginning, either instruct the child to begin units at 0 or cut off one row to begin at 1.  The rest of the number roll will require all 10 rows.

Below is a photo of the Montessori Exchange Tray, which is helpful for children who get stuck with changing decades or exchanging for the next level.  The child can simply lay out the quantity and add one unit.  For example, for the number 1,246, the child would take out 1 thousand, 2 hundreds, 4 tens, and 6 units.  Those are the exact numbers they right on the number roll.  The strips can be taped together, or glued onto another paper and rolled up.  Unrolling after a year of work is always a treat!

exchange tray

number roll thousands

Written by Jessie Beerman, M. Ed, from The Education of Ours,

a blog about Montessori Education for the home.

Jessie is a proud mom to three daughters, and a Montessori Teacher

who dabbles in writing, art, and yoga.




Wednesday 16th of October 2013

Hi Sorita,

I'd really sit down with the teacher on this one. I bet there's a hardy explanation for all of that behavior . Plus, the teacher would want to know how he feels about this work. It's not uncommon for a tough new skill to pose anxiety. Hopefully, meeting with his teacher will help the three of you communicate this better.



Wednesday 16th of October 2013

I know, Jody. But his teacher keeps insisting that he does it. Shes says that if we take it away from him then he'll think its ok not to do things he doesn't like. I know she's taken it away from him before and re introduced it after a few days. He's up too 115 so he can do it. This has made him not want to go to school anymore. He loves everything about school except this.


Wednesday 16th of October 2013

Hi, My five year old just started doing this a his Montessori school and hates it. This is his first year at a Montessori. Hes has never missed behaved at school until today when he was asked to do number rolls. He's always loved school until he started doing this.

Any advice on how I can help him? The teacher says he can do it but he just doesn't want to because it takes too long. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Jody @ Mommy Moment

Wednesday 16th of October 2013

Sorita, Your 5 year old should not be pressured to do the number roll if he does not want to. The Montessori method follows the lead of the child. Maybe your son wants to observe it a few more times before attempting it himself and that is ok. I hope that helps.


Friday 6th of May 2011

Thanks for posting this! I really appreciate the explanation! Thanks also for linking up to Montessori Monday - would you mind putting the button or a link back at the bottom of the post? I want all of the readers here to be able to see everyone's submitted lessons - thanks! :)


Wednesday 4th of May 2011

I shared your nice post via Twitter. Thanks for the free printable and great ideas for this work! Have a happy day! Colleen:)