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Cylinder Blocks

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Material

Four rectangular blocks made of wood.
Each block has ten holes which can be paired correctly
with only one corresponding knobbed cylinder block. 

Presentation

  1. Invite the child to the lesson. Ask the child to watch. 
  2. With a pincer grip on your dominant hand, slowly pull out the thickest block on the left by the knob and place randomly on the table in front of the rectangle block.  
  3. With the same grip, slowly pull out the thinnest block on the right and place randomly. 
  4. Continue doing this with the cylinder blocks with their corresponding opposites until all the cylinder blocks are randomized on the table. 
  5. With your dominant hand, slowly pick up a cylinder block and hover it over the corresponding hole. While holding the block, twist your wrist to the right so that you and the child can see how the base of the cylinder block will fit into the hole. 
  6. Put your wrist back into its normal position and carefully place the cylinder block into the hole. Repeat this until all cylinder blocks are in their correct holes. 
  7. Invite the child to randomize the blocks and perform the exercise. 

Exercises

Exercise 1, child works with one rectangular block at a time,
free to work with any of the four different blocks.
Exercise 2, child works with two rectangular blocks together.
Exercise 3, the child works with three rectangular blocks together.
Exercise 4, the child works with four rectangular blocks together.

Language

Block 1 is thick, thicker, thickest, thin, thinner, thinnest.  
Block 2 is large, larger, largest, small, smaller, smallest.  
Block 3 is too complex for language. 
Block 4 is tall, taller, tallest, short, shorter, shortest. 

Games

Distance Game, take the rectangular block to a table, and place all the cylinders on another table that is at a distance. Place a marker near one of the holes, then walk back to the other table to find the corresponding cylinder block. Once a match is made, place the marker next to another hole and repeat.

Control of Error

Built into cylinder blocks, it is self-correcting. 

Direct Purpose

Visual discrimination of dimension.

Indirect Purpose

Preparation for writing, refinement of voluntary movement, preparation for the mathematical mind. 

Age

3 – 3 ½

Notes

When taking out the cylinders, do so at opposite ends to exaggerate the differences; one on the furthest left, then one on furthest right, then continue going back and forth with opposites. 

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