Purpose of Knobbed Cylinders

Knobbed Cylinders are one of Montessori’s genius and original material. Montessori classroom sensorial area begins with this wonderful material. This material is designed to teach children to visually discriminate between dimensions. There are four variations to Knobbed Cylinders, helping child to develop that mathematical mind to distinguish by size and weight. As the child practices with this work, they gain muscle memory and can able to distinguish each cylinder by touch. The Knobbed Cylinders comprised of 10 cylinders again for developing that mathematical mind that Montessori refers to in many of her writings.

Set A: Cylinders are decreasing in diameters successively from thick to thin while the height remains constant.

Set B: Each cylinders are decreasing in diameters from thick to thin and the height from tall to short

Set C: Each cylinders are decreasing in diameters from thick to thin while increasing in the height from short to tall.

Set D: The diameters stay constant only the height decreases from tall to short.

How to Present this Material:

1) Initial presentation begins with Set A as it is easier for children to match.

2) Invite the child for the lesson. Walk over to the shelf and name the material first before picking it up. Model how to carry the material to the work rug or to the table.

3) Place the material gently on the rug in front of the child. Present the material from left to right, thickest to thinnest.

4) Remember to use slow exaggerated hand movement and no words.

5) Take each cylinder out and mix them up. Tell the child that when we take them out we mix them up. (Point of Interest: Show the child how softly you can put it down on the rug or on the table)

6) Trace each cylinder around with your fingers to demonstrate the difference in diameters before putting them back.

7) Tell the child you will put them all back one by one. Model how to put them back.

8) Model how to put the material back on the shelf when you are done. Tell the child now it is his turn to work with the material.

Once the child has enough practice with each set isolated then we can begin with mixing up two sets, three sets, and then all four sets . One of the extension is to work with each set with a blindfold and then work with all four sets with a blindfold as child progresses with this material.

I hope this post helps your understanding on how to present this wonderful material to your child. Please write in the comments on what you would like to see more in our posts. Thank you for following this blog!

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