Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Classic Montessori Materials - The Pink Tower

This is the first in a series of posts about the "Classic" Montessori materials that make our class a "Montessori" Preschool. These standards are always on our shelves. It is worth knowing what these basics are and what they teach.

(on the Bottom Left)

I chose the Pink Tower first because it is the most recognized and iconic of the Montessori materials. Also......O.K. I'll admit....It's Pink and I'm still feeling all Valentine-y :)

The Pink Tower has 10 cubes ranging in size from 1000 cubic Centimeters (each side has a length of 10 centimeters) to 1 cubic Centimeter.

When Maria Montessori developed this material she had dimension, sequence, order and relationship in sizes in mind. She first used in on a green mat because of the way the pink and green looked together. Although, neither the pink or green color are what matters in this work; what matters is the size of and the amount of the blocks. This is considered a 'Sensorial' material, But like most sensorial materials it leads easily into later math skills. (think: relationship in amounts, order and much later cubing numbers.) It also gives us an opportunity to add vocabulary like "biggest" "smallest" "bigger" "smaller." While the child practices building this in the right order, they are "inputting" the information into their brain on many levels, by touch as well as sight. They hold onto the information learned from direct experience with a very real concept until this information is needed to expand upon. The control of error is that if it is out of order, you can see it, and sometimes it falls over.

After the child has mastered building a basic tower and has done so several times, they are ready for extensions of this work. These include tracing the cubes, building all kinds of other creations, looking at a control card on a mat and going to the shelf to choose the correct sized cube and bring it back to verify (pictured below), building along with the brown stair, and many others. The extensions help to refine and solidify the sense of size and dimension, and the new vocabulary.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Becky! If you want pop up on my blog. I wrote about the same material :-)
    If you are interested, here is the link: