don steward
mathematics teaching 10 ~ 16

Monday, 1 April 2013

Cuisenaire rod introduction

invented by a Belgian primary school teacher,

Georges Cuisenaire  (1891 - 1976)

their use was widely promoted by
Caleb Gattegno (1911 - 1988)

the Cuisenaire company was set up in 1954 to market these rods (wooden originally)
and it has Caleb Gattegno's booklets available

the colour scheme was chosen by Georges Cuisenaire to indicate relationships

this is a fairly conventional coding system (in English anyway)

students quickly become used to the letters

there are various interactive versions of the rods available (e.g. Desmos)

the interactive whiteboard companies usually have have their own versions

it takes time to distribute and collect in the actual boxes of rods but it is well worth the effort
understanding seems to be considerably enhanced through using actual manipulatives

one box usually suffices for 4 students

it can get noisy....
I prefer that students do not build upwards

thanks to Keith Hedger and David Kent (of the Sigma project, 1988)

as well as other aspects,
the rods can be a helpful model

for fractions:

2/3 + 5/6



and simultaneous equations:

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