Recently, we placed extension cards in the Sensorial area to encourage the children to extend their learning with some of the most basic Montessori materials: The Pink Cubes, Brown Prisms, and Red Rods. Most of the class has seen these materials in past years if they are returning student to Pine Grove. The extension cards challenge older students to make new patterns and designs using the Sensorial materials, often combining materials together.
One of the most popular extension works is making the Maze with the Red Rods. Using a laminated card that shows the picture of The Maze, the children build a winding path that uses the longest rods first and then the smallest rods to make the interior. The students have to use visual discrimination skills to decide where the rods need to be placed in order to make The Maze work. Once completed, the children may quietly take off their shoes and walk inside The Maze taking careful steps to ensure that they do not bump a Red Rod out of place. Taking turns and waiting patiently are also important parts of doing this work cooperatively with a classmate, as only one child at a time is allowed inside The Maze.
“We shall walk together on this path of life, for all things are part of the universe and are connected with each other to form one whole unity.”
― Maria Montessori