It uses a simple two-page format for each letter of the alphabet. The left-hand page shows an outline of a letter with instructions to cover it in different ways, using the rods. Objects whose names begin with the corresponding letter are on the right-hand side, and these are also to be covered with rods. There are questions that involve counting, spatial relationships, addition sentences, early multiplication and problem solving.
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Rods of different colors are 2 through 10 centimeters long. Base Ten Blocks have pieces one centimeter long, 10 centimeters, squares of square centimeters, and cubes of cubic centimeters, all the same color.
Books and resources listed below are examples of some of the resources for working with manipulatives, but there are many, many more. There are lots of different starter sets from which you might choose. I would encourage you to get a larger set rather than a smaller one. There are three books in this series, for K-2, , and , although these grade delineations seem very arbitrary.
Activities in these books frequently would be appropriate for other grade levels. Unlike most of the other books, these present a range of activities to enhance mathematical thinking and conceptual understanding in general rather than focus upon particular skills such as addition and subtraction.
Some activities do focus on such skills, but they do not follow any logical sequence in doing so. They can be used in any order you choose. Most activities are interactive, requiring a partner--Mom will do. Numerous blackline masters at the back of each book are used to construct game parts, serve as the foundation of activities, or function as worksheets or cut-and-paste projects to use with activities.
Many activities are drawn from the same ideas found in the more specialized, topical Cuisenaire activity books, so you will discover many ways the Rods can be used through these activities which might help you decide which other books you might want to purchase.
There are also Super Source books for other manipulatives such as Pattern Blocks, Snap Cubes, and Geoboards, but I suspect that this series and the Cuisenaire Rods will be the most useful for homeschoolers. Note: Graph paper marked in centimeters is difficult to find but is a valuable tool for use with Cuisenaire Rods, other manipulatives based on cubic centimeters, or simply for students to use to keep numbers properly aligned in problem solving.
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For a lifetime of learning fun! If you are unable to see the blue navigation buttons below, go to Contents for text links. Cuisenaire Rods Cuisenaire rods are a collection of rectangular rods in 10 lengths and 10 colors, each color corresponding to a different length. Learners can explore whole numbers, fractions, measurement, ratio, area, perimeter, symmetry, congruence, three-dimensional geometry, patterns, and functions.
Cuisenaire Alphabet Book