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The Red Rods

The Long Stair or Red Rods

Material: 10, red wooden rods all of the same thickness but varying in length from 10 centimeters to a meter. Each rod increases in length by the length of the smallest rod, or 10 centimeters. The longest rod is 10 times longer than the smallest rod.

Presentation: Spread a mat or rug on the floor. Mix the rods on the mat. Place the rods in order of length to form the stair. Children love starting with the longest rod. Make sure that the left-hand side is even. As you place each rod measure it slowly with your finger tips from the top to the bottom. This again connects the brain to the hand movement.

Exercise: Your child builds the stair as demonstrated. When complete show your child that the difference between any two rods next to each other is always one (smallest) rod. This gives the first impression of counting is always adding one more to the previous number. This shows the concrete level of counting (which is a form of addition).

Purpose
Understanding of size
muscular and visual perception of dimension, which leads to observation and knowledge, applied to the child’s environment
Small motor skills developed
Math readiness, sequence and order, and finally adding.

Hint: As with the broad stair, pink tower, and red rods you can begin with every other rod until your child has mastered the final lesson.

Advanced exercise: Your child can put together the pink tower, broad stair, and long rods Comparisons and differences can be noted.

Last Updated: December 14, 2010
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