Exciting things are happening at Joyous Montessori! This month, we are studying the planet Mars, President Thomas Jefferson, the continent of North America, and the life cycle of a butterfly. We are also working intensely with many Montessori tools, including the two I will describe below.
The Trinomial Cube
Students who have mastered the binomial cube will get an extra challenge when they are given the trinomial cube. The trinomial cube is a puzzle cube with twenty-eight pieces:
- One yellow, one blue and one redcube.
- Eighteen square based prisms.
- Six black rectangular prisms.
- A box to hold it all in.
As with the binomial cube, the object is to assemble all the parts into a cube in such a way that every piece is placed with all sides matching the color of every adjacent side. At first glance, the child will perceive the trinomial cube as a sensory puzzle – they use their sense of sight to match sides together. However, after working for awhile with the cube, children will begin to grasp algebraic concepts, including (a+b+c)
The Knobless Cylinder
Knobless cylinders come in groups of ten, in four different colors. The red cylinders are all the same height, but each successive cylinder increases incrementally by diameter. A row of yellow cylinders increases in both height and diameter, so that the widest cylinder is also the tallest. A row of green cylinders increases both dimensions in such a way that the widest cylinder is also the tallest. The blue cylinders are all the same width, but different heights.
Children work with the cylinders, arranging them by size and shape. They may also stack them to make a tower. As the children grow more skilled working with the cylinders, they may experiment with matching cylinders of one color to compatible cylinders of different colors. There are endless combinations Knobless cylinders help children develop their fine motor skills and hand/eye coordination. They also gain a better understanding of the concept of dimension. The knobless cylinder is an invaluable tool for preparing children for geometry.