Look at these happy boys! They have finished the 100 board, a wonderful example of the Montessori math materials! In this work, they see the patterns of the numbers, repetition in the numbers in sets of 10. They are pleased, because it is a big work!
There are 100 pieces! We set them up for success by sorting them into 10 boxes of 10.
Now, look at this picture! They forgot that each set of 10 goes into a separate box, and so they mixed them all up! (This is after Lynn gave a silent scream and helped them turn each number back over and to line them up in rows, right side up.) Now they got to sort them back into the boxes from Chaos Mode. It was not as much fun, although, being children, they did it without the dread that Chaos Mode can cause in adults.
Back to the sense of order. We adults can foster this by setting things up (puzzles, coat hooks, shoes, underwear) so that children see the order they need to be successful.
Here is Silas at 3:) We are setting up the color tablets so that he can easily see which ones he has paired, and which ones he has not. If we stop and set a child up with some support and order, they are more likely to be successful independently! Montessori said that young children have an innate sense of order, but we need to support that order in the environment for them to be most successful.
(For puzzles, when we see children who need help, we teach them to turn all of the pieces over, to start with the border (if there is one) and to look at colors and details. We can start to break the chaos down into order.)