Cuisenaire Rods

Now i don’t know if it was just my school, but before the days of calculators or calculator watches (see previous blog) Cuisenaire Rods were the way yo add and take away in the early years of school.

Cuisenaire Rods

Cuisenaire Rods

The wooden coloured rods are named after their inventor, Georges Cuisenaire, a Belgian primary school teacher, who published a book on their use. They almost seem to relate to Snooker scoring with the colours representing numbers.


The set consists of 10 rods measuring 1 cm to 10 cm. Rods of equal length are assigned the same colour. Most Cuisenaire rods follow this system:

White rod = 1 cm.
Red rod = 2 cm.
Light green rod = 3 cm.
Lavender rod = 4 cm.
Yellow rod = 5 cm.
Dark green rod = 6 cm.
Black rod = 7 cm.
Brown rod = 8 cm.
Blue rod = 9 cm.
Orange rod = 10 cm.

It was reported from schools at the time that most teachers had a realisation that they are capable of far more than traditional teaching. Children all over the world, have startled teachers with their remarkable grasp of mathematics.

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