Bead Layout

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Bead Layout
Math - Introduction to the Decimal System
Bead Layout.JPG
PrerequisitesIntroduction to the Beads
MaterialsGolden Beads:
9 unit beads
9 ten bars
9 hundred squares
1 thousand cube
large mat

This activity expands on the child's understanding of the decimal system as was begun with the Introduction to the Beads.


  1. Carry the tray to a large mat.
    Bead Layout 1.JPG
  2. Lay out the unit beads along the right edge of the mat as shown. Be sure to leave enough room between each one so there will be room for the ten bars and hundred squares.
    Bead Layout 2.JPG
  3. Lay out the ten bars to the left of the unit beads.
    Bead Layout 3.JPG
  4. Lay out the hundred squares to the left of the ten bars.
    Bead Layout 4.JPG
  5. Place the thousand cube to the left of the hundred squares.
    Bead Layout 5.JPG
  6. Ask the child to bring you a quantity of one type one place value. For example: "Please bring me 3 units."
    Bead Layout 6.JPG
  7. Do the same with beads of other place values: "Please bring me 5 tens." "Please bring me 3 hundreds." "Please bring me 1 thousand."
    Bead Layout 7.JPG Bead Layout 8.JPG Bead Layout 9.JPG
  8. When the child is comfortable doing this, have him bring quantities from two different place values. For instance: "Please bring me 2 tens and 5 units." This may take a few presentations before the child gets to this point depending on the age and abilities of the child.
  9. Place a quantity of beads on the tray and ask the child to name the quantity. (This step acts as the third period in the Three Period Lesson.)

Points of Interest

  • the size of beads layout
  • the whole presence of decimal bead material

Control of Error

  • more or less of bead material
  • proper setting
  • material incomplete

Variations and Extensions

  • 45 Layout:
    45 Bead Layout.JPG


see Golden Beads

Further Reading