The Number Rods - Introduction

MATERIAL:

Ten wooden rods varying in length from 1 decimeter to 1 meter.  Each decimeter is colored alternately red and blue.  Thus, the first rod is entirely red, the second, which is two decimeters long, is colored red and blue, and so on.  These rods correspond in length to the red rods.  A dark green floor mat is also needed.
 

PURPOSE:

To learn to count to ten and understand the value of each number.  To learn the names "one" to "ten" and to associate the names with the quantities.

AGE:

Four years and older

NOTE:

Throughout the number work, the children must sit or stand so that they see the numerals the right way up.  It is a bad habit to sit children opposite each other at a table when numbers or letters are being used or written.  Each child sees the other child's work upside down.  This can lead to reversal problems.
 
When large numbers are being used, either with the golden bead material or numerals, the children must always see these in the correct order - thousands, hundreds, tens, units, from left to right (i.e. 3,247).  This is because we read numbers from left to right beginning with the largest.
 
Special care must be taken in group exercises where the children stand.  The teacher can be on the wrong side of the work, but the children must stay on the side to see the work right side up and should not come to stand beside her.  Any children who wander over to watch must stand in front of the work even if they have not yet reached the stage of the exercise that the others are doing.

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