Monday 22 October 2012

Learning by accident

A while back on Facebook Lisa of Crafty Mamas started a conversation about Cuisenaire Rods - something I vividly remember from school when I was a kid.

They are a great way to teach math concepts - in a way that the child enjoys, so they almost don't realise it's learning or 'work'.

They come in a box of their own but she wanted to sort them according to their size
For those not familiar with them they are small timber rods that have been dyed or painted (in my opinion the dyed ones are better quality!), and where each colour represents a different number.

The smallest of the blocks is a white cube, and each rod thereon gets incrementally larger, in proportion.

So the 'two' rod, the red one, is exactly twice the size of the one; the seven is three of the ones plus a four or one five plus one two.
They all work off multiples of that basic block, the one.

Mathematician in action!
It means a child can visually see that four plus three equals seven, because if you lay a four rod and a three rod next to a seven rod they are the same length - showing they are equal to each other.

My clever little chick decided to use them to show me how to work out area, I'm telling you - Prep is not what it was when I was at school!!

She drew three completely different shapes and then using the rods to fill them, determined which had the greater area.
All for the fun of it.

Working together, me on my sewing and her on her area project.
I also love that she set herself up to work on her little 'desk' close to where I had set up my sewing "so we can both do something fun together" was her explanation.

If you want to grab a set (of the good ones!!) visit Windmill Toys, they have the best of everything play and education based I reckon!


Cass said...

I love those rods, I just found a magnetic set I got ages ago but number nine is missing

ARTwendy ... said...

love the cuisenaire .... from when i was small to now .... hmmm yes we need some too ... love her sense of 'playing to learn' ... & side by side too ...

Tanya said...

Oh, I remember the stripey carpet of my class room of old when I read that post.

Sally said...

That is so fantastic. Wonderful for sure. Love it. Fond memories too. I loved those blocks when I went to school... they were one of my favourite parts of the day.