Feb 17, 2011

Cuisenaire Rods

After being away from school for the last 3 and a half days I went back to work. It was so nice to see the kids. I got cards and hugs as they entered the classroom. It was a lovely welcome first thing in the morning. 
I don't know if any of you use Cuisenaire Rods as a manipulative but I do. I love them and can't say enough good things about this tool to help kids understand number. A friend gave me a great website that can be used on your Smartboard or as a center. I've added the link to the Math Playground site so you can check it out. 
I like this tool because students can't count each individual block instead they need to compare them to each other in order to figure out which color represents what number. I find myself doing the same thing. The students do a lot of playing with the blocks and come to understand and put numbers to the colors. The rods are a fantastic tool to help build relationships between numbers and see addition and subtraction comparisons. Here are a couple pictures of what students have done. The rods can be used to measure with, do multiplication, division and fractions. They can be used in all grade levels as well.

Here's a video of a student explaining his solution to a problem with the rods. 
I will post more in the coming days as the students work with them. 
Have a Great Long Weekend and a Happy Family Day

1 comment:

  1. I love Cuisenaire rods too! Actually, they are the only manipulatives I remember from my school days growing up in Montreal.

    Love to see the work your students are doing with them. I really like the equality statements that your students have made using letters to represent the colours.

    I agree that they are a good model where students do not become distracted by counting the number of smaller pieces that make up the larger piece. I have seen this happen with base ten blocks where some students don't ever subitize the rod values because they keep counting. It is a good introduction to referents and benchmark values but it also lends itself to an open number line because there are no markings.

    Thanks for sharing :-)


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