‘Power’ of the smallest cube from the Pink Tower

The Pink Tower is an iconic sensorial material that belongs to the Montessori Primary classroom curriculum. This is one of the first lessons the young child receives when they move up to the 3-6 year old room.

A couple of weeks ago one of my daughter’s amazing guides, sent me this picture of her working with the Pink Tower. I can literally feel Nadine’s impeccable concentration through this image, as she is placing the smallest cube to complete her tower.

Working with the Pink Tower

This priceless moment made me realize, how lucky am I to get one more chance to relive the magic of the primary years through my daughter (my third-born, and hopefully the last 😉 ). I have been a Primary Guide for three and a half years, before I moved to the Lower Elementary classroom. I also experienced, my two boys complete their three year cycles respectively, in a 3-6 year room. This makes a total of about 9 years altogether, of the Primary curriculum experience, and still Nadine’s journey makes me so excited.

“You see this tiny cube – watch it- for it is a great temptation to the children and it does disappear.” ~ Maria Montessori

Coming back to the Pink Tower, it is a series of cubes designed to develop visual discrimination of size in 3-D dimensions. Each cube graduates in increments of one cubic centimeter. The smallest cube is 1 cubic centimeter and the largest one is 1000 cubic centimeter. This sensorial manipulation is preparing them for their future concepts of Math, Geometry, Area and Volume.

You must be wondering, what is the significance of the smallest 1 centimeter cube. Well, to say the least, Maria Montessori was a Genius!!! The Brown Stairs graduate in the same increments of one cubic centimeter, but lengthwise. That is another visual discrimination and reinforcement of dimensions.

Working with Brown Stairs

As the children move on to Lower Elementary and are introduced to the decimal system with the help of the Hierarchy material, they see the smallest green cube representing the unit bead. They witness the visual representation of the small green cube as the unit and the 1000,000 times bigger green cube, that represents 1 million.

The Hierarchy material 1- 1000,000

Later as the curriculum progresses, and the children begin with the study of volume, they visually see the material that has 1000 cubes of the exact size (1 cubic centimeter each), which is the same size as the smallest cube of the pink tower.

This sweet boy volunteered to help his friend clean up after the lesson

The Montessori ‘spiral’ curriculum will never seize to amaze me!! I truly feel, that giving any child the ‘gift of Montessori’ is the best gift they will ever receive!

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