If you are keen to work with Cuisenaire rods and arithmetic, you should be aware that you will be working in several different areas, or domains. If you are using real rods, this is the ROD DOMAIN. It exist in the familiar world of 3D objects all around us. What we are going to be looking at are “Parallel worlds”, or “Similar worlds”. We are going to gradually (I can’t stress that word enough) move over into other worlds, which are similar, but not the same. Same means, “another one or an identical thingy”.
Similar means “somewhat like….” So we start with the rod domain.
We might start making marks on paper. This is not the rod domain, we have switched over to the flat 2D world of “marks on paper”. This is a flat, more abstract world where we make marks that represent real things. You can make marks of different natures. You could make ‘drawing’ marks, ‘letter’ marks or even, ‘numeral’ marks. These each have different characteristics. Imagine you are a child. They are not real things in the sense of the real 3D things you are used to. Your teachers might think they are a bit removed. You might think it seems a lot removed from what you are used to and are familiar with. In fact if you are not really ready to operate in this world, it will become a very confusing world, a world where you can feel inadequate, stupid and incapable of seeing precisely what you are being asked. You will have entered a FEARFUL SPACE OF HORROR. You will not want to come here again. You will dread it and just like a snail who’s touched something it doesn’t like, you will RETRACT YOUR FEELERS. Remember this. It’s not where I meant to go, but as it is so important I went there to emphasise it anyway. I was becoming paragraphically ambiguous. However, if the above does happen, IT IS A CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY, really, a criminal offence that should be punished. I’m not joking. It happens all time because teachers in particular either don’t know what they are doing and/or don’t have enough time to do this domain switching properly and gradually. Lets start again with this domain disambiguation……already we have seen, the pure rod domain, the rod plus speech domain, the drawings on paper domain, the written language domain, the numeral domain………..You see, it is a bit complicated for a little child, as it is for you maybe…..