"The combination of phonetics and simple retro illustration makes for an excellent entree into pre-literacy."

Wall Street Journal

Our spokesperson, London, who is always sneaking away to eat, and falling asleep on the job.

Our spokesperson, London, who is always sneaking away to eat, and falling asleep on the job.


Montessori: Number Work

This book follows the Montessori method by introducing the numbers 1 to 10 first as quantities to count before showing them as numerals. Cumulative red and blue tabs based on the counting rods found in Montessori classrooms help readers conceptualize quantities. Groupings of beautifully stylized illustrations provide objects to count before readers encounter textured numerals to trace with their fingers.

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Montessori: Letter Work

In Montessori classrooms, students learn to write before they learn to read, so the process is driven by their own words and thoughts before those of others. Letters are taught first as sounds (instead of names), and alphabet tiles encourage children to trace each letter with their fingers. This book honors that tradition by emulating the standard classroom material with touchable, traceable letters and beautiful colors.

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Montessori: Shape Work

When learning shapes, Montessori students first develop an understanding of the spatial object in comparison to other shapes and a relevant application for each shape—before learning the names. Inspired by this process, Montessori: Shape Work offers readers die-cut shapes to trace with their fingers, grouped by family for comparison, and illustrated with a familiar object for relevancy.

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When we first opened Baan Dek, we were constantly looking for ways to increase awareness about the Montessori approach to education. We wanted to share with the world some of the insights that we had gained, both in an effort to make Montessori more accessible to a much wider audience and to help families learn more about what makes Montessori so unique. Many of the encounters that we had with Montessori were so strong and positive, and so counter to our traditional backgrounds, that we wanted to convey what we had learned. As a result, and with the help of the amazing team at Abrams Appleseed, we're very proud to introduce Number, Letter and Shape Work, which we feel are perfect introductions to Montessori. As a guide for parents, we've also put together a short video that will walk you through the letter sounds. Watch!

Photo Courtesy of NOT COT

Photo Courtesy of NOT COT

Photo Courtesy of NOT COT.

Photo Courtesy of NOT COT.


A Few Reviews

"Bobby and June George, founders of the Baan Dek Montessori in Sioux Falls, SD, have been actively taking Maria Montessori's philosophies and principles into the next generation." - NOT COT

"Nicely illustrated, this tall, distinctive board book is a useful resource for parents and teachers.” - Booklist

"A first - trade board books employing Montessori teaching methods. These companion books are thick and sturdy and use a sandpaper-like texture on the letter and numbers for tracing. Developed by the founders of Baan Dek Montessori School, the first in South Dakota. The books follow the Montessori tradition of teaching sounds and quantities before letter and number names." - Apartment Therapy

"Utilizing the Montessori teaching method developed in 1897, this book teaches numbers based on quantities, instead of the names of numbers, to promote an understanding of number values." - Picture Books Review

"For over 100 years, the benefits of Montessori have been available only for the privileged who are able to attend the schools. Thanks to the George's, these books have the potential to bring two important and foundational exercises into every home." - Hugh Weber, OTA

"The book provides an excellent way for parents to bring Montessori teaching into the home and children will enjoy the bright colour backgrounds and attractive pictures." - Parents in Touch

"Within moments of receiving these books, our 3 year old was completely engrossed. The bright colors, minimalist design and added texture instantly captured his attention. Each time we sit down together with the book, he is not only excited but is completely attentive as we explore each page. We can see by his expressions that he is not simply memorizing letters and numbers but beginning to understand the foundations of the sounds they make and the volumes they represent. It has been a treat to hear him as he audibly works through these same concepts outside of the realm of these books." - Dave & Cassie Medema

"My little guy is a big fan of these books -- for a while they were all he wanted to read at bedtime. I definitely see a difference with him too -- he's sounding out letters as he sees them and while he's been counting for a while, I realize now he is connecting what he is counting to the actual items. Two good learning tools for kids who attend and don't attend preschool." - About.com

"While in board-book format, this and its companion title, Number Work, are really interactive teaching tools for preschool and primary-aged children to use with a knowledgeable adult." - Kirkus Review

"Very Cool. Thumbs up!" - Peter Sims

Would you like to submit a review? You can leave one on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Alternatively, please feel free to send us a note: shop@baandek.org Hope you enjoy!


The Building Blocks of Life. 


The Origin of the Project

Over the summer, we sat down to put together our thoughts on what education means to us: the values, principles and dreams that we hope to embody and impart. We started to call them the "building blocks of life." Essentially, we wanted to share some of the many lessons that we have learned along the way and relay these capstones to a much wider audience. These are principles to which we aspire, foundations that we desire to lay, and inspiration that we always try to carry in our back pockets. As with everything, we believe in the best. The best teachers. The best education. The best materials. That's why we teamed up with Dave and Cassie Medema of Funky Fresh Supply Co. They are the best at what they do. Not only do they share the same vision for education, they also have a unique ability to capture tough concepts with their original and insightful designs. Together, we created a series of our favorite "building blocks" and put them in poster format. We hope you enjoy! You can order them now, at Society 6