Friday, 7 March 2014

More maths with Cuisenaire rods in Year 4

We've posted some of our work with Cuisenaire rods here already (see for instance our work on patterns in squares). Since then, we've used them in lots of other ways. Click on the headings to get more detail on the Year 4 blog.

Cuisenaire multiplication square

This was great fun to make, and the image of it has been a great resource to refer to:

Forgetting about square roots (not)

Not usually in the Year 4 (9 and 10 year old) curriculum, so we said forget about it, but of course this paradoxical injunction worked magic! Topped off with a little work on the differences of squares.

Algebra with Cuisenaire rod sums

This seems to be the ideal way to introduce the idea of using a letter instead of a number. (And thanks to Don Steward for the inspiration.)

Rozenn and Pythagoras

When Rozenn came in with something her dad had shown her - Pythagoras Theorem - the rods were the ideal way of quickly seeing that for the 3-4-5 triangle the theorem was right.

 Of course this is Secondary school work really, but just as in art we look at work by, say, Paul Klee, or in music we listen to adult musicians and composers, why shouldn't we look ahead and marvel a little in maths too?!


  1. I really like the Pythagoras images and think that many older students could remember it more easily by exploring the theory with them. Especially the visual learners.
    I know I would've.

  2. Yes, it's only a shame that there aren't more small-number Pythagoras triangles. The next one (apart from 6-8-10) is 5-12-13, and that makes it harder to use the Cuisenaire rods. You'd think Pythagoras could have done a bit better than that for us!