Binomial Cube

November 11, 2015
The Binomial Cube, a material from the Sensorial area of the classroom, indirectly introduces (a + b)³ to the child.

(a + b)³ might not typically be a concept one would think could be presented to the young child, but Montessori felt differently. This mathematical thought is presented in a concrete, visual way through the Binomial Cube.

All 8 pieces of the material are neatly contained in a wooden box with the square of the binomial represented on the lid. The pieces include one red cube and three red and black matching prisms, as well as one blue cube and three blue and black matching prisms.

The direct aim of the Binomial Cube is to build the cube in the box. However, some extensions include building the cube outside of the box, or building the top and bottom layer separately. The indirect aims of the Binomial Cube include preparation for greater mathematics and understanding the cube root.

Before the Binomial Cube, a child might engage with other materials from the Sensorial ‘Mixed Impressions’ area, such as Geometric Solids or Color Tablets. After the Binomial Cube, they might challenge themselves with the Trinomial Cube.

For other related Sensorial Materials from the Montessori classroom, we suggest the Pink Tower and the Red Rods Encyclopedia posts!

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