Cuisenaire Rods
Manipulatives and More

Cuisenaire rods are often used in the elementary school classroom. Shown below are a few problems that illustrate their usefulness.

Factors & Multiples

A row of rods of the same color is called a one-color train. Here is a one-color train that represents the number 12.

• What other rods can be used to form a one-color train for 12? What information do these provide?
• How many different one-color trains are possible for any given prime number?
• If an all-purple train is the same length as an all-yellow train, what can be said about the number of purple rods?
• What is the smallest number of light green rods for which an all-green train has the same length as an all-black train?

Fractions

• If the brown rod represents one unit, what is the length of the red rod?
• What fraction is represented by the red rod if the yellow rod is the unit rod?
• What is the unit rod if the purple rod represents 2/5?

 Steve Kifowit Prairie State College Chicago Heights, IL 60411