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In the math area materials such as the numerical rods enable the child to get a physical sense of quantity and then to associate this with the numeral that is the symbol for that quantity. The spindle box gives them a chance to reinforce this skill, counting from zero to nine, and introduces the concept of sets. The decimal beads let them build up to the quantity 1000 in a visible way and to learn the value of place (Montessori, The Secret of Childhood, picture p.7).