Learning Math Facts With Cuisenaire Rods and a Freebie

Learning Math Facts with Cuisenaire Rods and a Freebie - Cuisenaire Rods are fun for the kids and helpful for learning valuable math concepts. Here are some ideas!
Brain Research tells us that being physically involved with the learning process helps learning. It also suggests that use of color helps make connections. Teachers know that kids (and adults) tend to key into color, and children love to use manipulatives!

With Cuisenaire Rods (see picture) the white rod, the smallest, is one cubic centimeter.(This is the same size as a standard base ten block.) The longest rod is orange. When the children put the rods by length, they make a colorful "staircase". (See picture.)

The children can then assign values to each rod by color based upon the relationship of the other rods.
I like to start with sets of ten, since our number system is based on ten.  It's good for them to know those combinations of ten!

Since the orange rod has a value of 10, this
picture shows 9+1=10. It also shows 1+9=10.  
It also shows 10-1=9 as well as 10-9=1.

What fact family do these blocks show?  6+4=10, 4+6=10, 10-6=4, and 10-4=6.  

This one shows 6+6=12 and 12-6=6.

The Cuisenaire Rods can also be used for multiple addends or even multiplication.  This could be 3+3+3+3=12 or 3x4=12.

When it comes to storage, the containers the rods come in are tricky for the kids to put away.  I put my Cuisenaire Rods into a container much easier for little hands.

I made these center sheets for the students. (Click the image for the freebie!) I prefer the children work with partners on activities like this since the conversations they have help the learning.  If you run these off back to back, you can make two sided, half size papers.

For more sheets like this, click here:
I've also found a link for online Cuisenaire Rods!

I hope your students enjoy learning math facts with Cuisenaire Rods as much as mine do!

I also have a resource to develop Number Sense with Cuisenaire Rods that can be found HERE.

Both resources can be found as a bundled set HERE.


  1. I am having a linky party for the sale at Teacher Notebook. Swing over and link up so others can click on your store and shop for goodies!

    meet me at the zoo...

  2. Thanks so much for an amazing freebie! Such fun :)
    Differentiation Station Creations

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. This looks great! Can't wait to use it with my kids, we love our cuisenaire rods! Thanks for sharing!


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