Thursday, September 1, 2011

Montessori Beads and Teen Bead Hanger: Our Purchase and Lessons

Well, we have 'officially' gotten past the number 10. Dont get me wrong, this isnt the first time that Mustang has ever heard the number 11. In fact, she can count to 100. But, in our lessons we have been following (Bob Jones K5) we are finally to #11. And, for me, it was time to change things up a bit.

Interestingly enough, I noticed that once you get to 11, good worksheets and lessons are much harder to find. We dont use the workbook that goes with our BJU curriculum, but I can see a copy of it in my teacher's manual. There is less time spent on 11 then any numbers 1-10. I also have a notebook of ESL worksheets from a great friend that we have used. For numbers 1-10 there are 4 worksheets for each number. Number 11, there is 1.

This approach doesnt make sense to me, as it would seem that 1-10 are the 'easy to memorize' facts, and 11 begins (though still quite simply) the beginning of understanding a concept rather then just a fact. It reminds me of the Sound of Music when Maria is teaching the song 'Do a Dear.' She starts off slow and gives them a great foundation and then rushes through do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti...then looks around to realize that she had lost the kids. The slow start wasnt enough, each sound had to be given attention. And, in my opinion, each number (or number set) needs to be given attention, too.

Up until now we had been using a Base Ten Unit starter set that we found FREE! at our homeschool swap this spring!! These are similar to the golden unit sets in Montessori, and I decided to just go with these. But, I decided it was time to purchase some Montessori Beads.

When I went to order, I was a bit overwhelmed at my choices. It was suggested, by The Girl Who Painted Trees (Adventures of Bear) to buy the Bead Decanomial so that I would have enough beads to make chains and other math processes.

I couldnt afford that box the day I ordered, so I went with the Checker Board Bead Set and a pack of 45 Golden Bead Bars. I hope I end up with enough beads, otherwise I will have to order more in the future.

Unlike some of the Montessori homeschool moms, I chose to order the
Teen Bead Hanger. I do believe that this could be homemade, but I have learned over the years that I am more of a buy all the stuff to make something and never actually make it kinda girl. So, I just bought the ready made hanger. I'm VERY glad I did.

I purchased both the colored bead stair control chart.

And the Teen Boards, Beads, and Worksheets from Montessori Print Shop.

When we first received our beads and hanger, I did a group presentation. You simply cant leave out anyone when such a beautiful material is out on the learning table, even if they arent 'ready' for the work. Since then, each of my children have worked with it in one way or another.

For Mustang, the numbers were review, but the idea of 10 and 1, 10 and 2, 10 and 3 was new. I enjoyed seeing her understanding the concept rather then just the number order. It has been useful in adding things outside of school.

This allowed me to change the order of the numbers and have her still do the work. She is beginning to understand that a number is its own property outside its place on the number line.

For Charger, I laminated a bead stair from the packet I downloaded at Montessori Print Shop. I had him match the beads to the stair, but they slid around and he was not impressed.

So I turned around our number tiles and wrote the numbers 1-9 on them as I had seen here. Hmm I guess I need to add 10-oops! And, oh my goodness, this turned a light bulb on. My puzzle man was in his zone! He quickly hung up 1-9 and then wanted to do it the 'right way.'

He flipped around all the tiles and did the teens like an old pro.

Check out that concentration.

Then he wanted to switch the number line and the tiles. So he did, matching each of the numbers in order. Later, he switched the numbers back again, did the single digits again and the teens again. Overall, he spent a good 45 minutes using the bead hanger. I dont think he has made the connection of remembering the order directly with each individual number, but I know that will come. I really enjoyed watching him work. He was so focused and excited to learn. It made every penny spent worth it!

Even Mini Cooper has been working with the bead hanger. She doesnt understand how it works at all, but she loves to hang the beads up and take them down. This has been GREAT hand eye coordination for her.

The Montessori beads and bead hanger have been a great addition to our learning materials. I look forward to many more math lessons with them! I hope my explanation has been helpful to those of you considering what to buy for your children. If you have any questions, let me know and I'll do my best to answer. I'm a newbie at this, too. If you have any tips for using these materials, I'd love to hear them!!

I'm linking up my post to


God Bless!!


Amanda said...

So cool! I've been drooling over Montessori catalogs lately-- any products you recommend starting with? I was thinking about the cylinders.

Deb Chitwood said...

This is great! Thanks so much for the wonderful links and photos showing your kids' work! And thanks for linking with Montessori Monday! I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page:

Our Country Road said...

@ Amanda-sorry I couldnt email you directly. I can tell you that the cylinders (the knobbed ones) are the first thing to purchase in the sensorial area. They are also one of the most expensive things to purchase, and so I have been purchasing things out of order. I have been ordering things as I can afford them and as they have been 'needed' in our lessons. We do not currently follow the Montessori order (I hope someday that will change) so I am purchasing the Montessori Materials to help teach the concepts in our BJU curriculum. For now, this seems to be a great blend for us.

Ewa said...

Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog. Now I can follow you back:-)

I made all my bead materials by myself including the big short bead stairs you were asking about. Later this week I am going to post the very detailed tutorials so please visit us if you like ;-) Maybe you find them useful ;-)

Warm hugs

Nadia said...

I was trying to decide what math to start with my son. I was looking at Rightstart, singapore, or montessori. My son goes to a montessori school but so far has not told me about working much with the beads. After seeing your post I have more of an idea of the way he is learning (or will be learning math in his montessori school).
i am wondering if I should buy the math beads for home use even though he has it at school. For some weird reason I just feel like he is learning SO much more at home than he is at school...

Over Yonder said...

Those are great!

Montessori Schools said...

Kids are playing with mind growing games and that's very important for kids growth .Its really good for kids..Montessori Nursery School

Zina :: Let's Lasso the Moon said...

I came across your blog this morning from Honey Bee Books. Your content is wonderful. I am excited to sign up for the RSS feed.

Our girls have been at a Montessori school for the last four years and recently switched to the public school. I am looking for ways to keep the Montessori Method in our home. Thank you for taking the time to share your wonderful ideas with us online. I know it is sometimes a lot of effort, but know there are moms out there like me who are appreciative.

Happy Friday!!!