Chasing Cheerios

Friday, March 7, 2008

More Help Needed

I have another question from the wonderful Montessori mamas out there. How do I introduce the knobbed cylinders? I know that I should only intro one at a time, but is there a specific one that is best to intro first? Also, is there a specific procedure for introducing this work or should I just show her how to take them out, examine the pieces, and fit them back into the right slot? She has played with the cylinders informally while they were sitting on the floor while I was trying to figure out where in the world to put them (I still haven't figured it out because they won't fit on the shelf, and this house is sooooo small). She did a great job putting the cylinders back in the right places. I think this is going to be a favorite work, but I want to do it right. Thanks for any input!!!


  1. Check out this site
    We bought the knobless and Josh likes those too!

  2. This is what I did...
    show her how to take out the mat and unroll it
    take the first block (choose an easy one where the diameters are different)
    place the block on the mat
    take out each cylinder, one at a time and put it to the side
    once they have all been taken out pick up one and look at the bottom as if you are inspecting it - make a big deal about it then look in the holes and try and pick which one to put it in, try it in a hole then run your finger over the top of the cylinder to show if it is correct and flush with block.
    Do a couple more cylinders then ask her to try. When she has finished show her how to run her finger along all the cylinders to check they are all OK. Then put the block back in it's 'home' and roll up the mat.
    My son just tried jamming the blocks in any-old-how to start with but now he can do the 4 blocks together and has started to check the diameter of the cylinder first.

  3. Thanks, ladies! I really appreciate your help!

  4. Hi Melissa,
    The Montessori materials designed to assist the child in their development of visually discrimination are broken into three groups:
    Visual discrimination of size
    Visual discrimination of color
    visual discrimination of form
    the knobbed cylinders are the 1st work introduced in the visual discrimination of size group.
    Great choice for O!
    The materials are sequenced within each group to go from the greatest contrast to more refined and smaller differences to be observed by the child. (I hope I don't sound too much like a Montessori nerd here...) to continue
    As you know, there are four knobbed cylinder boxes. They are presented in the following order:
    Box one: height constant, diameter decreases thick to thin
    Box two: height decreases, diameter decreases thick to thin/tall to short
    Box three: Height increases, diameter decreases short to tall/thick to thin
    Box four: height decreases, diameter constant tall to short
    The only things I would add to Jojoebi's beautiful presentation is when you remove each cylinder place them in front of the corresponding hole (1st lesson) and next, isolate the extremes (with block #1 these would be the thickest and thinnest)return them to their spots and continue with lesson. When removing cylinders use pincer grip, slow movements and no sound. We sometimes forget that when we talk our children look at our face rather than what we are showing them with our hands. This work is usually presented in silence.
    I hope this helps!