The ROD written language MARK-MAKING DOMAIN is another. It is different to the rod language (speech) domain because now marks that represent rods are going to be made on paper (or at least on flat things such as paper or computer screens, white boards etc.) Rods might be drawn and coloured in previously, and then real letters can be used if the children know how to form at least some of them. STRESS: you do not have to move to this particular abstract domain IN ANY HURRY, quite the opposite.
Caleb Gattegno used the following letters to represent the Cuisenaire rods:
w r g p y d b t B o
White, red, green, purple, yellow, dark green, black, tan, blue and orange.
Others have used other letters. If you want to use Gattegno’s books, it might be best to stick to these, but you don’t have too, but you do need to be consistent. As a slight aside, it is useful to provide help in forming the letters properly, because here like everywhere else, a little good direct tuition is very useful. For example, form all those letters starting at the top. This goes for the great majority of the letter and number formation in the English language. Bad habits are persistently difficult to break.
You notice that black, brown and blue start with the same letter, as do green and (dark) green. Hence the alternatives. You get a tan if you stay in the sun for a while. They mostly see that straight away, and they accept that blue could be represented by a capital letter to avoid confusion. Familiarity soon takes over. Colour blind children can apparently distinguish the colours by shades, but I have never come across a totally colour-blind person.
This ROD written language MARK-MAKING DOMAIN is where ‘other’ SIGNS might be met. So long as the child totally understands the signs all might be well, but THIS WILL NOT BE THE CASE AT FIRST. However, even if you decide to make ‘mathematical’ signs as well as the written alphabet signs there are issues you should be aware of…….for example, do you think that signs are ‘domain specific’ or not? if you claim to be a master, you should consider this.