How sensorial experiences support abstract thinking
Tuesday, 5 September 2023
7:00 – 8:00 pm
Geometry is the measurement of the Earth — it is all around us. It brings strength to our structures and beauty to our environments.
Dr Maria Montessori devised concrete materials so that, through their manipulation, we can grow our understanding of the different elements of Geometry.
A child’s work begins in the First Plane of Development using Sensorial materials that bring to life concepts of form, size, weight, dimensions and all the elements we experience through our senses. The child develops understanding and heightens their awareness while building their vocabulary.
Working with the materials and connecting this knowledge to their environment, they learn to discriminate between slight differences and to be able to categorise things in their mind. They develop a deep conscious understanding of the world around them.
Working with the Sensorial materials develops a child’s independence as they make choices about what to do, their concentration skills are strengthened, and they experience a sense of accomplishment as they master one material and new challenge after another.
In the Second Plane of Development the concrete experiences continue. Now we call our work ‘Geometry’. The students work towards understanding rules and formulas while manipulating specially-designed materials. There are many overlaps with our mathematical work and Dr Montessori used geometry throughout the curriculum to highlight different concepts.
Materials help students to visualise abstract concepts and they separate or combine objects to see changes and prove theories. We look at area, volume, shape, angles, lines and circles, and we also work with squared and cubed numbers in Mathematics. Our knowledge of multiples and factors compliments different activities, such as students calculating the area of a tabletop or the volume of a box.
Students learn about heroes such as Pythagoras and Euclid, ancient Greek mathematicians, and they hear stories about the history of humans. This appeals to the characteristics of the Second Plane Child.
This term, our Parent Information Night on Geometry will focus on the journey from concrete experiences to abstract understanding. We’d love you to come along so that you too can see the world of geometry all around you.