The older guys have been working through the history and philosophy of the Greek rhetoricians. We will begin the Romans this week. I thought perhaps this would help us see the bridge (Roman philosophy) between the Greek rhetoricians and the Middle Age rationalists.
DW has begun the process of understanding squaring. She has looked at binomials (3+4) = 7 for several years from different angles. She has continued to process into squaring of numbers. Yesterday we looked at the relationship from 1 to 9 then 10 to 90 and 100 to 900 when squared.
Today we began the slow process to understand how to condense large squares into binomials. For example she is laying out the square of 14 in unit beads. To count all these beads will take forever.
She then began to change the unit beads into 10’s and then the 10’s into 100’s.
She then starts with the squares laid out again beginning with the 100’s (in this example the square is 1 – or 1×1) and then began laying the 10’s on either side of the square like arms and finally in between the arms she placed the remaining green unit beads. She had one 10 bead left over that she traded back in for green unit beads to complete the the square of four.
At that point it became easy to count the beads – 1 squared (in the hundreds place) + 2(1 x 4) (in the tens place) + 4 squared (in the units place) = 100 + 80 + 16 = 196 = 14 squared.
Montessori is about careful observation and our daily walks in the neighborhood with the dogs produced a detailed study of regional birds. Now, the children discovered nuts and have gone crazy over them. The attention to detail that is being given to a nut. A nut!
JV read Men of Salt: Crossing the Sahara on the Caravan of White Gold by Michael Benanav over last weekend. It is a quick read and well written.
Salt trade in the Sahara or the caravan of white gold
Salt trade starts in Timbuktu and goes to Taoudenni and back. This roundtrip takes about a month and is done with camels. The traders prepare the camels for the trip by letting them graze and relax for a month. Then they take them on the trip; come back to let them graze again and then begin the trip all over again.
Food for the men
Before the trip a goat is slaughter and its carcass is hung on the side of a camel to dry. As needed meat is pealed off and cooked to be eaten. Butter is all so taken on the trip but goes rancid before the trip is complete. Noodles also are eaten and there are three mandatory cups of very strong tea in the morning, noon, and evening.
When the caravan reaches Taoudenni, the pre-cut salt blocks are strapped in wet goat hide and are set to dry. The hides dry tightly around the salt making it secure for the trip. When completely dry, four are strapped on to each camel. Another goat is slaughtered and off the caravan goes back to Timbuktu.