Introduction to Fractions Using Cuisenaire Rods
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Gwendolyn M. Manson Benjamin Banneker
6656 S. Normal
Chicago IL 60621
Objective(s): Grade 5
(1) Students will visually "see" and manipulate fractions with Cuisenaire
Rods staircase to develop concept and fractional relationships.
(2) Students will learn numerical values of rods and relate them to color
(3) Students will use varied approaches to discovering new fractional
relationships that answer the "why" in fractions and lessen "the only
one way" hazard.
(4) Students will write a problem-solving story that is interest-based but
also demonstrates basic understanding of fractions and vocabulary
(5) Students will relate fractions in a relevant way to their culture.
(1) Cuisenaire Rods - One set per student
(2) Overhead Projector - Class
(3) Overhead Cuisenaire Rods - 1 set per class
(4) Acetate Sheets - 6 per class
(5) Grease Pens - Two per class
(6) Poster Boards - One per five groups
(7) Magic Markers - One per five groups
(8) Worksheets (2) - Two per student
(1) Display objects and discuss why fractions are important and
needed in real-life situations, i.e. sewing, fabric measurement,
money, recipes, telling time, body measurements, etc.
(2) Students will work in cooperative groups (A-E) and build a rod
(3) Students will explore, examine and learn the colors, lengths and
numerical value of each rod.
(4) Students and teacher work together using the Overhead Projector
with Cuisenaire Rods to develop and write fractional equivalents
(5) Learners will make values of ten using each of the colored rods.
(6) Students will do multiples of the white, red and light green rods.
(7) Display an orange rod and show that it takes two yellow rods to
make an orange rod. Write in the following manner:
O = 2 Yellow
1/2 O = Y
(8) Do the same with the Red (R), Dark Green (D), and Brown (N) which
are multiples of two.
(9) Students discover the multiples of three, i.e. E=3G read as Blue
equals three Green, 1/3 E=G.
(10) Students will do a self checking worksheet to answer a Cuisenaire
(11) Students will form cooperative groups (A-E) to write a mathematical
story for a specific combination of Cuisenaire Rods displayed on the
Using the Cuisenaire Rods, A Photo Text Guide for Teachers - Jessica Davidson
Cuisenaire Company of America, 12 Church Street, New Rochelle, NY 10805