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MONTESSORI MONDAY III 2018-2019

Added Sep 24, 2018
Montessori Monday: The Red Rods

There are few materials that can claim to be as fully-engaging as the Red Rods.
Prominent in the Sensorial area, the Rods are an immediate attraction to children
because of their precise proportions, scale and vibrant color. After a careful
presentation, the child can practice carefully carrying each rod from the shelf to a
floor mat, placing each silently and with great attention on the mat and, when all
ten rod have been placed, aligning them by length.

Like the other Sensorial materials, the Red Rods are designed to enhance the child's
sensorial perception, in this case by developing his understanding of length. What
better way to internalize the difference between 10 centimeters and 1 meter than to
carrying those lengths in your open arms? Resting his fingertips on the far edges of
the Rod, the child is able to experience the length of the Rods with his whole body.
Meanwhile, he builds his ability to move carefully through the room by navigating
the Rods (some which may be as tall as he is!) around chairs and tables. He develops
his visual perception by discriminating between the rods. He ultimately will build
his memory and concentration by enjoying distance games with the Rods or, if he's
very interested, by completing the rod layout blindfolded. And while the child is
establishing these skills explicitly, he is absorbing the cognitive patterns of our
number system through exposure to relationships in diminishing tenths
and to the patterns in our language system by lining the rods from left to right and
top to bottom on the mat, just as the order of our written and read language
operates.

Most exciting, though, may be observing the returning child who discovers the
changes in his or her own body, when the child is "suddenly" able to carry the
longest rod from end to end, those tiny arms finally growing long enough to reach
the entire length. This is the great joy of the three-year cycle, as children move
through familiar materials, leave them to more challenging ones and cycle back to
their comfort again. Year after year, these are the ways we measure our days.
Catherine McTamaney, Ed.D.
Christopher Academy Alumna

 

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