How to Use Montessori Golden Beads With Seguin Ten Boards

Written by carole ellis
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The montessori golden beads are groups of golden beads that are placed in hierarchies of unit beads, ten bars, hundred squares and thousand cubes. They are used to help children visualise numbers as they learn how to count, and later in teaching basic math operations. The seguin ten boards are used to help children learn numbers higher than ten, first by introducing the "teens" and then by helping them figure out the patterns that will lead them from ten to ninety-nine. These two lessons can be used in conjunction in the final stages of learning and practicing counting.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Montessori golden beads
  • Montessori ten bars
  • Montessori unit beads
  • Seguin ten boards
  • Matching number cards set
  • Floor mat

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  1. 1

    Arrange the materials on the floor mat. The golden beads should be positioned within easy reach to the left. Place the two seguin ten boards one above the other so that you have a column that reads from top to bottom, "10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80. 90." Make sure that the number cards are in reach in a stack to the right of the 10 on the seguin board.

  2. 2

    Have the child place a ten bar next to the ten on the seguin board. This will give you a chance to show him that the golden bead quantities should always be to the left of the numerals, while the cards are to the right.

  3. 3

    Slide the number 1 in over the 10 on the seguin board. As you do so, add a unit bead to the ten bar, saying, "Ten and one is eleven, so we write eleven 10 and 1."

  4. 4

    Replace the 1 card with the 2 card and then the rest of the cards until you have used 1 through 9. For each card, you will add another unit bead and say the same formula.

  5. 5

    Continue the pattern for the rest of the numbers on the seguin board. You will need to move your number stack down each time. Start out by building the correct "starter number" with the ten bars, then add unit beads as appropriate. For example, to build thirty-seven, you will already have built 30 through 36.

  6. 6

    Allow the child to work independently. Once the child understands the pattern, she may wish to finish the lesson alone. If so, this is fine. If not, then complete the lesson together, but encourage the child to work on the lesson independently at a later time.

Tips and warnings

  • Always set up the lesson the same way so that the child becomes accustomed to setting up and disassembling the lesson as well as working with the materials.

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