Providing a Control for Tessellations

Providing a self-correcting control for the child is key in a Montessori environment. In the case of tessellations, generally the only control is in the presentation and observation.

A more independent, self-correcting control is available by providing an inset board for the tessellations. The inset board should be designed so that it holds a tessellating pattern. The child then can remove the shapes from the board, and then refill the board. In order to refill the board, the shapes must be aligned in a tessellating pattern.

Tantalizing Tessellations Part 3: Tessellating Pentagons

In our prior two segments of Tantalizing Tessellations we discussed tessellating nonagons and heptagons. This time let's take a look at tessellating pentagons.

The regular pentagon cannot tessellate on it's own. But, it can tessellate with an acute angle isosceles triangle.

This is quite interesting because TWO acute angle isosceles triangles alternate with TWO pentagons.

Tantalizing Tessellations Part 2: Tessellating Heptagons

Children will easily find that triangles, quadrilaterals, and hexagons can tessellate on their own. The other shapes of the Geometric Cabinet are more challenging. In our last blog, we discussed tessellating nonagons. This time we will address heptagons.

The 7-sided heptagon cannot tessellate on it's own. This is the first discovery. The heptagon will require a partner shape in order to tessellate.

Tantalizing Tessellations: Tessellating Nonagons

Tessellations can be tantalizing - which geometric shapes fit together and how? Children can easily absorb themselves in this activity that promotes their artistic and mathematical self.

Squares, triangles, octagons, dodecagons - no problem! But, what about pentagons, heptagons, nonagons, etc? Many never get the opportunity to tessellate these more complex shapes, which is unfortunate because doing so brings forth a new spectrum of mathematical understanding.

Using Tessellation Pattern Blocks To Explore Equivalent and Congruent Figures

Using Tessellation Pattern Blocks To Explore Equivalent and Congruent Figures

It seems everyone is drawn to Tessellation Pattern Blocks. Anyone who sees the little shapes just can’t help but want to reach out and arrange them. But, besides tessellating and pattern sheets, these shapes can also be used to study equivalency and congruency.

Start by building a shape. This exercise can start very simply – for instance, the first shape can consist of one rectangle.

Quality Puzzles: Knobs That Don't Fall Off

Quality Puzzles: Knobs That Don't Fall Off

Peg puzzles are a staple for children and a staple in the Montessori classroom. However, a common occurrence is the knobs fall off. This is frustrating for the child and interrupts their concentration and is frustrating for the parent/teacher who is continually trying to repair them. For toddlers this is a potentially dangerous situation as detached knobs also pose a choking hazard.

How To Care For Natural Wood Toys

How To Care For Natural Wood Toys

One of the appeals of natural wood toys is their ability to last generations. So, how do you care for them so they stay looking new? It's actually quite easy!

Cleaning: Use a damp cloth and IMMEDIATELY thoroughly dry it with a clean towel. Never let it soak in water. Never put it in a dishwasher. If there is a sanitary issue, it can be hand-washed with dishsoap and water, thoroughly rinsed, and immediately dried. Again, do not let it soak in water!