Geometry Rationale

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Geometry Rationale

Geometry is Greek for geos, which means Earth, and metron meaning measure. It can conceivably lay claim to being the oldest branch of mathematics outside arithmetic, and humanity has probably used geometrical techniques since before the dawn of recorded history. Initially, as with the Egyptians, geometry originated from practical necessity and the need to measure land. Geometry today is the science of observing and measuring shapes, surfaces, angles, lines and the relationships between these things. One might think that Geometry is sort of removed from daily life, but we are constantly surrounded by it. Everything in our environment has shape, lines, surfaces and angles and so the child has been experiencing these things in everything that surrounds them.

"Pythagoras was a Greek who was born in Samos about 580 BC. When he was nearly fifty years old he went to live in Italy near the city of Naples. He founded a religious order, which meant that he spent much of his time walking about with other men like him in long robes and thinking about the divine order in the universe. Pythagoras and his friends were looking for harmony, which they found all about them. Pythagoras had studied music, especially the harp. He noted a relationship between the harmony in the music and the study of mathematics. Other people of that time thought they could find answers to their questions about the universe in matter itself, but Pythagoras looked for these answers in numbers." - Paula Polk Lillard, Montessori Today

When teaching geometry to the 6-8 year old child, introducing materials in their historical contexts reveals their interrelationship. Children also enjoy stories, this will make the lesson more exciting and interesting, and it will help them to see the connections to practical life. Geometry should be taught throughout the year in the Montessori classroom, it is a very integral part of the experience. Tracing the metal insets from the geometric...
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