Fungirl seemed to implicitly understand squares and cubes. She had so much experience with the bead chains in Kindergarten and first grade that when they started coming up in equations she just got stuck in. However recently we had a blip where she got a little confused. When asked to square a number, she multiplied it by two. Time for a refresher!

Nienhuis Power of 2 Cube

Looking through my albums, I hadn’t yet presented the Power of 2 material – I want to do this in a couple of days, and I haven’t got it. I also anticipate this being a pretty short-lived material for us, and so I don’t really want to spend $95 on it! A quick adjustment to some of my Bead Cubes and Squares and I was ready to make my own Power of 2 cube!

Homemade Power of 2 Cube

Now – I’ve made an “improvement” – looking in my albums (KotU), the material is presented by starting with a unit cube. We note that the unit cube has a value of 1, then add a second unit cube to make a value of two. The guide then wonders what would happen if we doubled our unit cubes – we’d make a square shape with a value of 4! The guide doubles the 4 unit cubes to get a value of 8, laid out in a cube – this cube is the same size as the smallest yellow cube in the power of 2 material, and represents 2^3.

From then on, the power of two cube material is used, doubling the amount of the material we’re working with each time, working until we’re using all the material and have reached 2^9.

However, on YouTube, the EdVid lesson uses only the power of 2 material and can only move through values from 2^0 to 2^6. Montessori Commons recommends BOTH presentations…all so very confusing!

So – here’s my improvement! I’ve also included files for a 1cmx1cmx1cm unit cube, a 1cmx1cmx2cm rectangular prism, and a 1cmx2cmx2cm square prism. You now have another choice when presenting this material! (If you’re a purist, you can just ignore them!) I even have files included to make an ingenious little box too – grab the files in my store, and check out Instagram to see how we use the material!