Introduction to the Beads

From Montessori Album
Introduction to the Beads
Math - Introduction to the Decimal System
Intro to the Beads.JPG
PrerequisitesCards and Counters
Materials1 unit bead
1 ten bar
1 hundred square
1 thousand cube

This activity is the child's introduction to the Golden Bead material. This material is a concrete representation of the decimal system.


  1. Take the tray to a table or mat. Be sure that the thousand cube is on the left and the unit bead is on the right.
    Intro to the Beads 1.JPG
  2. Take out the unit bead. "This is one. We also call it a unit."
    Intro to the Beads 2.JPG
  3. Take out the ten bar. "This is ten."
    Intro to the Beads 3.JPG
  4. "Let's see how many unit beads there are in a ten. One, two, three..."
    Intro to the Beads 4.JPG
  5. Take out the hundred square. "This is a hundred."
    Intro to the Beads 5.JPG
  6. "Let's see how many tens there are in a hundred. One ten, two tens, three tens..."
    Intro to the Beads 6.JPG
  7. Take out the thousand cube. "This is a thousand."
    Intro to the Beads 7.JPG
  8. "Let's see how many hundreds there are in a thousand. One hundred, two hundreds, three hundreds..."
    Intro to the Beads 8.JPG
  9. Lay out all of the beads and name them one more time.
  10. Do a three period lesson.

Points of Interest

  • The large place values can be exciting to children.
  • Seeing how heavy the thousand is.

Control of Error

  • The directress' and the child’s own knowledge

Variations and Extensions


- A tray containing 1 golden bead unit, 1 golden ten-bar, 1 golden hundred square and 1 thousand cube. - A small mat for the table.

Where to Buy

Last checked: 24 April 2020

Adena $27.21
Affordable Montessori $49.00
Albanesi $69.00
Alison's $89.25
Bruins $130.00
E & O $69.00
IFIT $40.00
Kid Advance $35.99
Materials Company of Boston $78.00
Montessori Concepts $53.00
Montessori N' Such $31.95
Montessori Outlet $54.95
Nienhuis $142.20 (nylon beads)
Nienhuis $168.20 (glass beads)
Thinkamajigs $84.95

Tray only
Alison's $30.00

Further Reading