Thursday, April 2, 2009

Montessori Teens Board. Part 3

Okay, so I wanted to present the Teens Board to Hug even though I still don't have any Montessori Golden Beads. But, I remembered N from The Learning Ark using lego as Golden Beads with her son... and, we have lego!

Hug and I sorted through all of the lego and separated out the single pieces.

Then, we build Tens Bars together. Here, I showed him that the single white pieces are called 'Units' and the bars are called 'Tens'. That's part of the Decimals presentation but I didn't make a lego 100 square or 1000 cube. 

Then, we laid out our Teens Board and placed a Ten bar next to each written number '10'.

Next, we built a Short Bead Stair from lego too. This was trickier than I expected because you can get lengths of lego in 1,2,3,4,6,8 units but not 7 or 9. We made our own 7 and 9 with separate units but, lego not being perfectly square, it did throw out the symmetry of the pyramid a little. Never mind, maybe I would build it all out of separate pieces next time.

Here, Hug is bringing the bars from the Short Bead Stair up to match the written numbers placed to the right of our tens.

And then, one by one, we brought the 1-9 numbers, and the lego 'beads' over. 

"This is ten (pointing to the written number). This is ten (pointing to the lego tens bar).
"This is one (pointing to the written number). This is one (pointing to the lego tens bar).

Bringing the written '1' over to sit on top of the written '10'. 
Bringing the single lego unit one over also to sit with the lego ten bar.

"This is eleven (pointing to the newly created '11'). This is eleven (pointing to the lego).


About half way through we were interrupted by the postman (like God arriving on a motor bike! ;) & I completely lost him so we didn't get much further than this.

Hug knows how to rote count through 10-19 and further but it was interesting to see that he doesn't recognise the written numbers. He found 11 and 12 particularly confusing, which makes sense I guess as all of the other numbers follow that ...teen pattern. Thirteen, fourteen etc. 

As often is the case, with something a bit challenging, he hasn't chosen this work again but I plan on taking the board away with us this weekend (we're house and dog sitting for friends who have a beautiful house :) with some glass counters to try and approach it again from a different angle. Softly, softly, perseverance mama ;)

Bead Stair Links: 

Worksheets from Montessori for Everyone
Counting with a Bead Stair from Expert Village
Coloured Bead Stair with wooden tray from Alison's (Montessori supplier)

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Comments :


  1. Going to try this one...thanks! :)

  2. Amber,

    This is ingenious! I love how you worked with what you had! I hope you don't mind if I add this to my homemade Montessori tutorials collection (I link to you.).

  3. Hi Amber, I'm glad to see that you used the lego golden beads. It's great you made the tens beads also. So, my trick for the hundred squares: I used flat pieces and made a 3 layer hundred square with the pins [the sticking out bits] at the top so that Little-N can count them. My tens were the ten bars that had ten pins on them. For the thousand cube I made 10 layers of hundred squares and I used the fat pieces. But to save lego you can make the 1000 cube by making a 10 x 10 base and then building it up leaving the middle hollow. I don't know if I am making any sense so I'll try to write a post about making them tonight with loads of pictures if I get sometime. So pop over to my blog sometime soon.
    Take Care

  4. I love this. I want to try this with my son.


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