Resources and Tools for Elementary Math Specialists and Teachers
Share this


Making Trains

This activity uses Cuisenaire Rods to develop flexibility and fluency with addition facts and to encourage systematic thinking. Several different challenges are posed, all involving making equivalent trains using a given number of rods of different colors. An interactive Flash Cuisenaire applet is provided as an alternative to using real rods. The Teachers' Notes page offers suggestions for implementation, discussion questions, ideas for extension and support, and a link to a related activity, Cuisenaire Counting (cataloged separately).
Contributed by: Millennium Mathematics Project, Publisher
Math TopicNumber Sense, Basic Operations, Number Concepts, Mathematical Practices, Mathematical Processes
Grade Level1, 2
Resource TypeActivity, Interactive Media

  • Additional Information
    • AudienceLearner
    • LanguageEnglish (United Kingdom), Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Spanish
    • Education Topic
    • Interdisciplinary Connection
    • Professional DevelopmentNo
    • ContributorMillennium Mathematics Project, Publisher
    • Publication Date2005-10
    • RightsCopyright (c) 2007 University of Cambridge
    • AccessFree access
  • Standards
    • Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

      Select a standards document:

  • Related Resources
  • User Comments
    • 5
      A Train of Many Colors
      By Uncle Bob on 05/23/2012 - 10:24
    • The app is easy to use, provides good mouse or touchpad practice for younger students, and keeps a record of several trains for comparisons. As is often the case at nrich, the student solutions raise new questions, in this case, does the order of the rods make a difference? What is a combination?