The Spindle Boxes are a Montessori math material that introduce counting with tangible wooden spindles. The material consists of two boxes, one with a lid that holds 45 spindles, and another open box which is divided into 9 compartments. This box, almost like a tray with high sides, has a number on each compartment, 0-9.
The spindles themselves are wooden rods with no markings or coloring on them. A child carefully arranges the two boxes on a table, and begins counting! One spindle in the one compartment. Two spindles in the two compartment. And so on! Similar to Cards and Counters, a natural control of error occurs when a child finishes counting. If there are too few or too many spindles, the child knows he or she has made an error somewhere along the way.The child isn’t dependent on a teacher or guide for confirmation that he or she has done the work correctly.The child isn’t dependent on a teacher or guide for confirmation that he or she has done the work correctly. It’s just another way that independence is fostered in the Montessori classroom.