# A look at Cuisenaire Rods and Pattern Blocks

## Compiled by Robyn, South Africa ~ © September 2006

CUISENAIRE RODS

Cuisenaire Rods are rectangular blocks used to teach arithmetic. As seen right, each

of the 10 rods has a different colour and length  the white rod is 1cm long, the red

2cms, the light green 3cms and so on, up to a 10cm-long orange rod. A basic set

consists of 74 rods (22 white, 12 red, 10 light green, 6 purple and 4 each of yellow,

dark green, black, brown, blue and orange). One set can be used for 2 people.

Articles on Cuisenaire Rods

# Free Lesson Plans and Activities for Cuisenaire Rods

Cuisenaire Rods for Modeling Mathematical Concepts  Introductory Level

Multiplication, Division & Fractions with Cuisenaire (save and print - this is an excellent 18pg booklet with games & ideas)

Cuisenaire Rod Activities  from Math Cats.com (See Make a Rectangle & Make a Red Train)

###### Recommended Books

Cuisenaire Alphabet Book by MARIA MAROLDA (Grades K-4)

Here is a great way to introduce your child to Cuisenaire Rods. 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. Grades K-4. 64 pages.

This 64-page book offers worksheet puzzles presented in a simple self-checking crossword puzzle format. When your child records their answers with rods on the grid pattern, they create a word, pattern, or picture. Gr 1-6.

Written by a teacher with years of experience using Cuisenaire Rods, this great resource is a comprehensive "how to" book for a wide range of math topics. 150 pages.

There are three books in this series: K-2, 3-4 and 5-6. These books enhance mathematical thinking and conceptual understanding rather than particular skills such as addition and subtraction, although some activities do focus on these skills. Charts at the front of each book show which concepts or skills are covered in each activity, and they can be done in any order you choose.

# PATTERN BLOCKS

Pattern Blocks consist of six different coloured shapes: green triangles,

orange squares, blue rhombuses (60-degree angle), tan rhombuses

(30-degree angle), red trapezoids and yellow hexagons.

The blocks have similar angles and lengths so they can fit together

to make larger solid shapes. A full set of 250 Pattern Blocks consists

of 25 yellow hexagons, 25 orange squares, 50 green equilateral triangles,

50 red trapezoids, 50 tan rhombuses and 50 blue rhombuses.

Free Lesson Plans and Activities for Pattern Blocks

### Pattern Block Activities on the Web

Pattern Block Activities By Marilyn Burns - Scholastic

Recommended Books

This teacher-resource book contains thirty class activities using pattern blocks. The book is divided into six clusters. The intent of the first cluster, "Getting to Know You," is to channel children's natural curiosity so that they can recognize key characteristics of the blocks. In the "Creative Designs" cluster, children are encouraged to use pattern blocks as tools to create, analyze, and compare original designs and communicate about what they have done.

Building with colourful Pattern Blocks is an excellent way for students to sharpen problem-solving skills and investigate patterns, numbers, operations, geometry, and measurement. Each page offers a new challenging activity with clear directions and questions the whole class can discuss once the shape or design is completed. Includes extension ideas and activities at three levels of difficulty. Task Cards sold separately.