Friday, October 31, 2008

Snapshot! Son #3 & Knobbed Cylinders

This is Son #3 working with the knobbed cylinders. He's 3 going on 4 this month. In observing him, I gather that he definitely enjoys the sensorial and practical life materials at this moment and that is what is developmentally good for him right now. He has asked me to present stuff from the math shelf after seeing brother #1 working with stuff, but I see him using even the "simpler" math materials in more of a "practical life" way.

I'm finding a bit challenging that I have a lower elementary student (my oldest is 6), sharing the classroom space with my primary children. I've arranged the materials on the shelf from the most challenging to easiest, so that the children choose stuff at their "level". However, my 3 year old sees his 6 year old brother working with the golden beads, etc. and will ask to be introduced to the material too. It's a little tricky. If I had a bigger classroom, I'd have a toddler section, primary section, and elementary section. I can't complain though, I'm very blessed to even be able to dedicate one whole room in the house to a classroom!

So, one of the things that has helped with my 3 year old wanting to choose work he is not yet ready for, is figuring out his need. I ask myself, "What is it that attracts him to the elementary work?". If it is sorting, stacking, or counting, etc.. I can then divert his attention to an activity in which he can practice or use those skills. This seems to help. He enjoys repeating the activities a few times, and then chooses something he has already been presented with, or asks me to present something new. I'm planning on either purchasing or looking up some extension work for some of the sensorial materials. The level of satisfaction and concentration he has shown so far, leads me to believe that he will be really engrossed in the extension work.

What do you all do if you have children in the primary (3-6), lower elementary (6-9), and upper elementary (9-12) levels combined? I'd love to hear from you!


  1. Hi,

    In response to your post, we have students in my class who are attracted to works that they really aren't ready for. For example, our three year olds want to learn the Bead Cabinet. If a three year old shows interest, I will let him choose a lower number chain (2, 3, or 4) and present the work in a sensorial way. I'd let him count the beads. That's it. Most children just want to touch the beads because they are so pretty and attractive. I let my students fufil that desire. When they are ready to understand the purpose behind the activity, they will let you know. There are many extentions for the Sensorial Activities. For example, the Knobless Cylinders have cards with patterns on them. The children are suppose to create the patterns using the Knobless cylinders.If you have a set of brown stairs and pink towers, you can create patterns that the children can try to reproduce using both sets of materials. They love this extention in my class. The possibilities are ENDLESS! Good luck!

  2. The Montessori I worked in (before staying home) found it difficult to have the six-year-olds in the same classroom as the 3s because the work is so advanced and different. I understand how it could be difficult. I have just started working with my (early) 3 yr. old and found she is primarily attracted to art and practical life. The only way she will work with sensorial is with extensions, otherwise she is not interested. She enjoys gently rolling a marble down the brown stairs and today we made the maze with the red rods. She loved walking in it. I plan to get the cards to go with the knobless cylinders soon.


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