Once children have had extensive practice using Cuisenaire Rods to work with fraction concepts, they are ready to move on to decimal fractions. In this free math video, my daughter transfers her knowledge of adding fractions using the rods to adding decimal fractions written in decimal notation. At this point, I still have not told her any of the rules for fractions or decimals. I am letting her come to that understanding on her own. Watch carefully in these videos and you’ll see her making connections on her own.
After being introduced to decimals and decimal notation, my 6-year-old was ready to try using Cuisenaire Rods to make a number line that included fractions in decimal form. It is important that children not only see fractions as parts of a whole, but also as points on a number line. This activity helps bring the 3-dimensional rods down to 2-dimensional paper.
In this free math video, I introduce my 8 and 6-year-old to decimal notation using money, Base Ten Blocks and Cuisenaire Rods. The money provides the reference point for how to write decimals since they are already familiar with writing dollars and cents, and the Base Ten Blocks and Cuisenaire Rods provide a way to transfer their knowledge of regular fractions to decimal fractions.