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Cylinder Blocks

Purposes

Direct
Visual discrimination of dimensions.

Indirect
- Preparation for writing; coordination of the fingers used to hold the pencil.
Refinement of voluntary movement. The child will be able to fit the cylinders with one precise movement.
- Preparation for mathematics.

Control of Errors
The control of error lies within the materials itself.

Age
3 – 3 1/2 years

Materials
4 blocks, each containing 10 cylinders with knobs, each cylinder fitting into its respective hole.

Block 1: The cylinders vary in two dimensions: The diameter increases from 1cm to 5.5cm
The height remains constant at 5.5cm

Block 2
: The cylinders vary in three dimensions: The diameter increases from 1c, to 5.5cm
The height increases from 1cm to 5.5cm

Block 3
: The cylinders vary in three dimensions: The diameter increases from 1cm to 5.5cm
The height decreases from 1cm to 5.5cm

Block 4
: The cylinders vary in one dimension: The diameter remains the same.
The height increases from 1cm to 5.5cm

Presentation

Introduction

Invite the child by telling him you have something to show him. Bring him over to the cylinder blocks and tell him: “These are cylinder blocks.”  Show the child how to carry one of the blocks by gripping the blocks on both sides with both hands and carrying it at waist level and parallel to the ground. Have the child carry the block over to the table and show the child where to place it near the median line of the table. Have the child sit down to your left and then you sit down.

Taking Out
- Begin by pinching from above the knob of the cylinder furthest to the right using you thumb and two fingers.
- Slowly pull the cylinder out of its hole completely.
- Place the cylinder standing up in front on the hole.
- Repeat by taking out the cylinder in the same way that is furthest to the left.

- Place this cylinder in front of this hole.
- Continue taking out at random each of the cylinders.
- Alternating sides after each cylinder, place them next to the furthest right cylinder and then next to the furthest left cylinder until all of the cylinders are out of their holes.
- Tilt the block slightly forward to show the child that all of the holes are now empty.

Putting Back
- Replace all of the cylinders back into their appropriate hole, one at a time and in a random order.
- Hold the knobs of each cylinder in the same way as above and slowly slide each cylinder down into its hole until you hit the bottom.

Invite the child to take out and put back each of the cylinders.
The child is now free to work with any of the cylinder blocks.


Exercises

Exercise 1 The child works individually with the other blocks as in the presentation.
(Blocks 2, 3, and 4).

Exercise 2 The child works individually with two blocks.


Exercise 3
The child works individually with three of the blocks.


Exercise 4 The child works individually with the four blocks.


Games                        
Grading from an extreme.
Grading from the middle.
Matching the cylinders to the hole.

Language           
Block 1: Thick and Thin
Block 2: Large and Small
Block 3: No language because no dimension is isolated
Block 4: Tall and Short. The positives, comparatives, and superlatives.

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