Saturday, August 23, 2008
The Red Rods
These red rods have been in the works for a LONG time. It took me quite a while to finally decide to make them instead of buying them. They are priced very reasonably, but they are so big that I knew I wouldn't have anywhere to put them. I decided to make them myself, so I could make them on a smaller scale. We've had the wood for months and finally got around to cutting it a couple of weeks ago. The pieces are cut in 5 cm increments (instead of 10 cm increments). They needed at least 3 coats of paint, so painting took a while, too. I'm really glad they are done, and I'm happy with the finished product. Now, I just hope that O likes them :) I ended up saving lots of money (only because I made them smaller). I spent about 20 dollars on wood and paint, and I had enough wood (and paint) to make the red/blue rods, too. I actually have enough paint left over to last for years, and I have a little wood leftover that I'll probably just sand and give to O to add to her box of blocks.
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I love the rods. I'm just learning about Montessori methods and toys, so these are new to me. Where can they be purchased? I actually have quite a bit of wood and paint around here, and could probably make some, but finding the time is difficult. I actually have some building block plans in the works right now...ReplyDelete
The least expensive ones that I have found are at the Montessori Outlet http://www.montessorioutlet.com/cgi-bin/item/S-005-1/search/Montessori-Outlet-Long-Red-RodsReplyDelete
I have been meaning to tell you how much I just LOVE the rug you are using with O. The colors are great and I like that it has lines to help line everything up a bit easier!
What a great idea!! I think I may have a Christmas gift in the making, haha.ReplyDelete
Can you share about the type of wood you used? In other words if I went to a lumber yard and had them cut-the sizes, type, and ect? Thanks so much.ReplyDelete
Love your blog.. What kind of wood and paint did you use? Did I understand correctly that you made the blue/red ones too? Do you plan to use the Cylinder Blocks? If so, what are your plans? They are fairly expensive. Thanks..
I just found you and I love, love, love your blog. Can't wait to see more! Thank you!ReplyDelete
Your red rods and numerical rods are beautiful - nice work! I just wanted to respond to some of the questions/comments you've been receiving. One purpose of the red rods is for the child to experience length in a concrete way. She will feel the difference in each rod's length, from 10cm-100cm, as she carries them one at a time to her working rug. As a Montessori teacher, I have found that this is sort of an anticlimactic lesson for most children... It seems like the pink tower, broad stair, and cylinder blocks offer children more opportunity for exploration and have a more definite control of error. Also, children love building the maze, but most are unable to build it independently. Don't get me wrong - I'm not knocking the red rods, but if I were a parent buying materials for use in my home, I would make them or find other opportunities for my child to experience length in the environment.ReplyDelete
As for the numerical rods, they provide a great concrete introduction to counting and making a 1-1 correspondence between symbols and quantities. There are also a few fun extensions you can do with them. I have found that children rarely take this lesson out on their own, though - it is very teacher directed. If I were a parent, I would make the same introduction by counting like objects with my child instead. For example, place a basket of oranges on the working rug. Take out one orange. Say, "This is one. Please say one. Now I'm going to count one. One." Touch the orange as you say "one." "It's your turn to count one." After your child counts, move this orange to the top of the rug. Now take out two oranges. Say, "This is two. Please say two. Now I'm going to count two. One. Two." Touch the oranges as you count. "Now it's your turn to count two." Continue on with three. After this introduction you can play games. Say, "Please hand me two. Thank you! Let's count two!" If the child hands you three instead of two - don't correct. Just find an opportunity to recount two in your game. For example, "I'm going to put these back in the basket. One. Two." As a final assessment of your child's understanding, place one orange in front of your child and ask, "How many is this?" Or, you can have them ask you for quantities of oranges. "How many oranges would you like?"
Hopefully, I haven't been two long-winded! Sorry! I love reading your blog - you are an amazing mom!
Thanks for all of the comments! A- Thanks for your explanation. It was wonderful :)ReplyDelete
As for material used in making the red rods, I used acrylic high gloss craft paint, and I think the rods are about 1/2 inch squared (I'm not completely sure...they could be 3/4 inch squared, and I can't find anything to measure them with). I bought the wood from Lowe's, and it is sold in 8 foot sections. They cut it for so that it would fit it in my car, and then we cut it the lengths we needed using a miter saw. We used an electric saw, but I think it would have been fairly easy to use a hand saw (it would just take a little longer obviously). I hope that answers everyone's questions :)