The Cubes are both built up with wooden cubes and rectangular prisms in different colors.
The Binominal Cube is made out of pieces that form a cube of (a+b)3.
(a+b)3 = a3+3a2b+3ab2+b3. Altogether there are 8 pieces.
The Trinomial Cube is made out of pieces that forms a cube (a+b+c)3.
Direct Purpose: To build a cube
Indirect Purpose: Indirect preparation for counting with cubic roots. Preparation for verification of the algebraic formulas (a+b)2 and (a+b+c)3
Control of Error: Mechanical and visual
Age: 3.5- 4 years (about)
Aristotle said “There is nothing in our intellect that first didn’t exist in our senses.” When the children are about 3 years old and sometimes earlier, this material is introduced to them. With the Sensorial materials, the children classify the impressions they get every day, minute. The materials help them to gain a deeper understanding of these impressions.
Maria Montessori calls these materials “Materialized Abstractions.”
An abstract idea that appears in the human brain appears only in direct physical contact with materials. By touching the material, it gets settled in the muscle mind, this gives the child the possibilities of a deeper understanding of it.