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Cuisenaire Environment

Age 5 to 16 Challenge Level:
This interactive environment can be used with students, perhaps on an interactive whiteboard, for many different purposes. These might include, for example, exploring ideas associated with factors and multiples, or addition and subtraction. It is also an ideal context in which to investigate fractions and ratio, or to look at finding combinations. 

Cuisenaire rods were originally created by Georges Cuisenaire and were popularised by Caleb Gattegno. To appreciate the full pedagogical power of the rods, it is best to use physical rods but we hope that you will find this online environment a useful supplement. Whether using rods or working online, encourage students to be playful, perhaps working in pairs, rather than imposing too much structure too soon.

You can learn more about Caleb Gattegno on the Association of Teachers of Mathematics website, as well as finding a range of resources which focus on Cuisenaire rods.

To explore problems which make use of Cuisenaire rods, take a look at this Cuisenaire feature (primary) or Visualising with Cuisenaire (secondary). These problems promote a pedagogy which encourages a focus on relationships, proportionality, equivalence, comparison, difference and pattern, using colour labels rather than numbers to develop students' understanding of underlying mathematical structures.

One exciting feature of this Cuisenaire environment is the facility to create shared tables where students can collaborate from different devices.  To use this feature, click on the 'Collaborate' tab and press 'Create' to share a table. This will give you a table code which you can share with others. In 'casting' mode, other users can see what you are creating but cannot add rods of their own. In 'co-working' mode, all users can contribute. Each user will need to turn sharing on in order for others to see.