# stupid question about cuisinaire rods

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we recently got some cuisenaire rods and I have a question about how to use them. I've watched videos on how to teach with them, but I don't understand how the child should know what number is assigned to each rod. Am I missing something?

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The child should start by playing with the rods. Just playing.

Then they you can ask them to see how many white rods (one units) fit with each rod. They can play with that for a while.

Then they practice putting the rods in sequence, so that the next rod is only one white rod longer.

For a while, it may help to line the rods 1-10 (or white - orange) up in sequence before beginning any activities with them. I found that *I* needed this more than my dds, who seemed to get the white-rod equivalence way faster than I did. :glare:

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ok thanks - I got them second hand so I didn't know if there were directions I didn't get from the box or what. Thanks for the help!

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oh fun! thanks for the link!

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For a while, it may help to line the rods 1-10 (or white - orange) up in sequence before beginning any activities with them. I found that *I* needed this more than my dds, who seemed to get the white-rod equivalence way faster than I did. :glare:

Yep, so very true. My kids remembered them much faster than I did.

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You can also use a metric ruler to measure each rod to see what number it corresponds to. The 1-rod is conveniently one centimetre.

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Also, the number that each rod represents is NOT always the same. After the child internalizes the relationships between the rods through play, then we can use the rods as we wish to teach math concepts. We can define ANY of the rods as being "one": for instance, if the yellow rod is one, then the white rod represents 1/5, the red is 2/5, etc.

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we recently got some cuisenaire rods and I have a question about how to use them. I've watched videos on how to teach with them, but I don't understand how the child should know what number is assigned to each rod. Am I missing something?

Mathematics Made Meaningful teaches that, but not until the children have "played" with the rods quite a bit and learned the relationships of each color to the others (e.g., 1 white equals 2 reds, 2 reds equals...um...whatever they are, lol, and all the different combinations of colors to equal other colors). IOW, the most important thing isn't to first learn that white =1, red =2, and so on, but the relationships of each color to the others.

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ok, so is learning that one white equals 2 reds the correct wording to use then to teach those relationships? Then what, as they learn that and the number that each represent they just internalize the addition facts?

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ok, so is learning that one white equals 2 reds the correct wording to use then to teach those relationships? Then what, as they learn that and the number that each represent they just internalize the addition facts?

Well, you spend lots of time learning the relationships of the rods to each other.

You help them learn how many ways they can make brown or dark green. And then you do things like this: if red is 1, what is 2? What is 4? If yellow is 1, what is 2? What is 3? IOW, you do lots of things with the rods before you narrow it down to white is 1, red is 2, and so on. By then they would be familiar enough with the relationships that they'll easily understand that 4 + 2 = 6, because they've discovered that purple plus red equals dark green.

This is why I like to do Mathematics Made Meaningful before I do Miquon. :-)

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This video should help as you introduce the rods to your kids. I have found all of these videos helpful! http://www.educationunboxed.com/learning_the_rods.html

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As others have said, they just need to play with them. Building and staircase and numbering them out loud is a good way to do it. My 4 yr old has been playing with them off and on for the past year and he knows the number values 1-10.

While it is true that the number value can be different depending on what you're doing with them, in my opinion I still think it's okay that in the beginning they just know a 1-10 assignment. Then later they can they use them in different ways (like with fractions) when they have a math foundation to build on.

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