After publishing the previous Teaching Number Concepts post, I had a wonderful conversation with one of the readers, Terri. She recommended using Cuisenaire rods. In fact, her suggestions were so helpful, that I’d like to share them on the blog.
Terri’s photo illustrate two examples, the one on the left – for the number 8 and the one on the right – for the number 10. These examples were done by Terri’s 5-year old. As you can see, they show all the combinations of sums of two whole positive numbers that can make the original numbers.
C-rods are both similar and dissimilar to the two number concepts games I described previously. I particularly like that a child can see all the combinations at once as well as have visual proof of them adding up to exactly the same amount (being equal in length). This concrete proof of an abstract idea is extremely important for young children. It is also something, that in my opinion, should be encouraged in them – not blindly accepting our math statements, but actively challenging them.
I have not tried C-rods yet with my child, but will post an update as soon as I do. Thank you, Terri!
Have you used Cuisenaire rods? What other math manipulatives do you use to teach basic number concepts to your children?