Here is an excellent activity to do with preschoolers (or any age when first working with Cuisenaire rods!) to help them internalize more of the structure of our number system. This is the gateway to learning multiplication, division, and fractions. Even very young children can begin to learn about these topics when they are presented this way. You will spend a lot more time teaching these concepts if you only use pencil and paper to introduce them! Cuisenaire rods help children and adults to SEE the patterns inherent in our number system.
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