Amazingly, the Pythagoras theory (a² + b² = c²) which some school children; and some adults; know about, was developed centuries before Pythagoras of Samos; a Greek philosopher, mathematician, and astronomer; was born. He also founded the Pythagorean brotherhood that; although religious in nature; formulated principles that influenced the thinking of later, eminent mathematicians. Thus, the Pythagoras board takes its name from him, as it is basically the multiplication times table in visual form.
Growing up many of us remember two things about math:
- that we didn’t like it, and
- how boring it was to memorize the multiplication tables.
To use the board, the child chooses a wooden number tile; thinks of a multiplication equation that produces this answer; then places the tile in the correct position on the ruled board. By being able to focus on the process rather than simply finding the correct answer, the Child absorbs their times tables automatically, without realizing it.
Features of the Pythagoras Board
- the direct objective is;
- for the Child to understand their times tables
- indirectly, the Child;
- enjoys their mathematics
- instinctively begins to understand how mathematics “works”
- can manipulate numbers easily
- gains self-esteem, and confidence
- this traditional support material forms part of the Montessori mathematics curriculum
Contents of the Pythagoras Board
- a square red beech wood board, with a frame and 100 squares (1 to 10 vertically and horizontally)
- a beech wood box with a lid, containing 100 number tiles (1 to 100)
- board is 36cm x 36cm x 1.5cm / (14″ x 14″ x 6″)
- box is 19.5cm x 10.5cm x 5cm / (7¾” x 7¾” x 2¼”)
- tiles are 3cm x3cm / (1¼” x 1¼”)
- the Pythagoras Board Activity set, provides children with a number of different equations, building from the simple to more complicated.
- the Pythagoras control chart gives children the ability to self-check their answers, making it possible for them to immediately receive an answer.
- for children to learn how to discriminate size, shape and colour to complete the table of Pythagoras to square of the decanomial.
Further Reading and Resources
- How to Introduce the Pythagoras Board by the Montessori Kiwi