Wheaton Montessori News
Every child loves to play with blocks. Building, knocking down, and building again. Balancing cubes as high as they can to see them wobble and waiver. Listening to the topple and balancing to precarious heights again. It’s fascinating for a young child!
Understanding that children love to challenge themselves while they play, Dr. Montessori incorporated this childhood favorite in the form of The Pink Tower as a way to teach children a variety of concepts. It’s now one of the most iconic materials that can be found in a Montessori classroom.
While building the Pink Tower, students learn words such as “large” and “small,” and assign the words to the concept and size using a concrete material (the blocks). They go on to learn superlatives: small, smaller, smallest and large, larger, largest. They learn order, balance, and patience as they stack the cubes from largest to smallest (or smallest to largest for a big challenge!). The learn patience and precision as they work to build the Tower in a particularly order. Remember – Montessori materials are made to provide feedback without a teacher’s intervention. A child can practice over and over without interruption until – aha! – she’s done it!
Beyond the Blocks: The dimensions of the blocks introduce the concept of the decimal system and base-ten, providing a visual and physical foundation for cube roots and the decimal system for young children. The blocks range in sizes from 10-centimeters cubed to 1-centimeter cubed. There are exercises later in the Primary plane that delve deeper into these measurements and sizes.
Other activities relate to the Pink Tower: The Brown (or Broad) Stair, which demonstrates thick vs. thin, the Red Rods for length, and the Knobless cylinders which vary in height and diameter, again in series of tens.