//Zero Means Nothing, But He Knew That.

Zero Means Nothing, But He Knew That.

Spindle Boxes, One, One-Two. . .


“One, One-Two,” we count, as we begin to fill the compartments of the Spindle Boxes. The first of ten compartments is empty.


One-Two-Three. . .


Now, in the fourth compartment, “One-Two-Three.” We count each spindle as we place it in the compartment.



Nothing in the first compartment.


“See, there’s nothing there,” a friend points out.  “There are no spindles in this place.”



"That's because zero means 'nothing'!"


Zero means Nothing and it’s important enough to get up and go to a friend working with the Spindle Boxes to tell it over again.


Both the giver and receiver of this information are very polite.  It seems the child working with the Spindle Boxes must have known, since he didn’t put anything in the first compartment.  It also seems the child coming over is sharing, not just the information, but the wonder over why we should have a compartment for “Nothing.”


It’s the simple things that can be most difficult to grasp, and these children are apparently enjoying the process with the zero.


There will be another game in this series, the “Memory Game of Numbers” in which someone has to bring “zero” of something, and, say, place it in a chair.  Plenty of opportunity exists to experience this Zero as Placeholder, before working with the Decimal Numbers (with the “Golden Beads”),  and this information will be useful.


Sharing information that someone already knows can be a polite exchange, then.  It doesn’t have to be a reminder that one knows something the other may not.  It can be simply to wonder over the fact, to ponder it with someone else.


The fact that school begins August 13th, with the Elementary Open House Day Friday, August 10th, is something most of us know, but have we grasped this yet?  Are we so excited we want to talk with someone else about it and share our excitement? How do you feel about the fact that school will be starting soon?




2017-11-14T22:22:51+00:00By |Early Education|