Wednesday, March 12

Cusinaire Rods

Today I introduced her to Cuisenaire Rods, which we have decided to call Maths Rods. She has been playing around and self-exploring further Maths so I asked if she wanted to do some Maths with mama. An enthusiastic yes got me taking these out which have been waiting for a month.

I started with the Orange Book of the Miquon series. I actually adapted the first sheets to my own ideas based on what she has already explored. I got the idea to teach her tallying. And we looked at groupings to create sums.

Then I brought in the rods.

I let her explore them herself through play. She soon lined them up according to length, so then I started asking questions - which is the largest, are all the greens the same length, by how much are they different?

She played with them like a toy, just having fun, being creative. Then we played a 'guess my pattern' game. I make a pattern behind a box and then must give her directions so that she re-creates my pattern. I remove the 'screen' and we see how close they match up. She was keen to take turns and it was good fun and hard brain work.

Really great game for pattern recognition, giving directions, being clear with language, directions, relationship (under, next to), logical thinking and reasoning....

Back to creative play.... the rods became the teeth of her imaginary creature (boyballs). She was a scientist, I suggested a zoologist, and she invited me to assist her in classifying them. Each colour of teeth told a story about that species of boyball. Red were fire-breathing boyballs, milk were domestic, purple were herbivores who ate lots of berries, and so on.

I think that the inspiration for that came partly from a book she read a few days back.

Archaeologists Dig for Clues, Kate Duke


I bought the Lab Sheet Annotations book as well, which is supposed to provide instructions, but I don't find it at all clear or detailed enough. Fortunately, I have some experience in teaching Maths as a tutor, but more importantly, we don't have a classical approach and it's fine for me as a guideline. I think this is aimed at teachers and therefore make most sense to them, or to parents who have teaching or maths experience. Otherwise I can't really recommend them to most parents as a user-friendly resource.

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