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Montessori in a Minute: Geometric Solids

The Montessori Geometric Solids are a versatile foundational tool used in our classrooms as early as our Primary Program. This sensorial material engages the student's senses and offers a deep understanding of spatial concepts and geometry.

The Geometric Solids are a collection of wooden 3-D shapes sanded smooth and painted blue. They are stored in a wooden box with stands for the solids that may roll. Teachers introduce Primary students (before Kindergarten) to the solids with their correct names and allow them to explore the set of shapes with their 2D counterparts. Students continue to use them throughout their Elementary learning journey as they develop a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts such as arcs and angles. 

The simplicity and beauty of these materials help children grasp fundamental geometric principles by inviting them to touch, hold, and manipulate the shapes freely. They learn how each solid feels, rolls, and stacks. The shapes that comprise each set: 

  • Cube

  • Sphere

  • Cylinder

  • Rectangular prism

  • Square-based pyramid

  • Triangular-based prism

  • Ovoid

  • Ellipsoid

  • Cone

  • Triangular prism

The Importance of the Geometric Solids

This material offers a multi-sensory learning experience that caters to many different learning styles. Visual learners benefit from observing the shapes from every angle and can notice the differences and similarities first-hand. Tactile learners can touch and feel the surfaces and discern the textures and contours. Auditory learners can discuss and discover each shape's attributes and characteristics.

Beyond the sensory experience, the Geometric Solids help students identify and classify shapes based on their attributes by identifying edges, vertices, and faces. Children learn to recognize the 3D shape, for example, a square-based pyramid with a square as its base and four triangles that come to a point at the top. They explore concepts like volume, surface area, and spatial relationships using these solids. This material further hones the students' discrimination skills and is an opportunity to lengthen concentration.

Children also practice their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Teachers encourage students to explore the relationships between shapes and experiment with combinations and arrangements. The children flex their creativity and spatial reasoning as they construct, deconstruct, and reconstruct configurations using the solids. The Geometric Solids promote independence and self-correction. Through trial and error, they learn to correct their mistakes and refine their understanding, building confidence and resilience.

The Montessori in a Minute Series

The Montessori In A Minute series regularly explores the unique benefits of Montessori philosophy, its fundamental materials, and areas of the classroom. For all parents at Hudson Montessori School (Jersey City, New Jersey), the school hosts Parent Education Nights every year to teach parents about the Montessori method and how the students learn curriculum components using a Montessori framework.

Contact us to learn more about Hudson Montessori School's theme-based learning approach to education, the Montessori philosophy and methodology, or how the school fosters the love of learning for children aged 2 to eighth grade.

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