Curious cuisenaire maths

The Year 2 children have been exploring Cuisenaire rods in maths. These rods are really useful for children as they try and visually understand key mathematical concepts and therefore we wanted to give the children a chance to familiarise themselves with the rods from a young age. To begin with, the children had some time exploring the rods and handling them, comparing the different colours and sizes. They were quick to tell us there were ten different sized rods and started to stack them like a staircase.

After this, we began to use the Cuisenaire rods to compare amounts using the terms greater than, less than and equal to. Before moving onto visual clues and actual numbers, the children were able to use the rods to see what greater than, less than and equal to really mean. In their talk partners, one of the children had to select a colour rod and then their partner had to find one to compare it with. In the three photos below, the yellow rod was chosen by the first student, with the second child then choosing a rod which was greater than, smaller than and equal to that rod.

Once that key concept was secure, the children could then take two different rods and make mathematical statements about whether they were greater than, less than or equal to other combinations of rods. We will be using these throughout the year and hopefully this lesson has helped them secure a deeper understanding of these terms. Well done Year 2 for your excellent work today!