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Montessori In A Minute: Bead Cabinet

The Montessori Bead Cabinet is an eye-catching mathematics staple used in Primary, Kindergarten, and Lower Elementary classrooms. It is a large wooden cabinet filled with bright chains of hanging beads in order from 1 - 10 starting from right to left, varying in color and length. Matching bead cubes, representing cubed values, are stored above the strands. The colored beads strands represent specific quantities and the colors correlate with other Montessori math materials.

The colored beads chains and bead cubes are a tactile, physical representation of abstract mathematical concepts, and are taught without any difficult labels. As they move their fingers over the beads, manipulating them while counting, children also build fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, and strengthen their dexterity.

Children count, label the first bar in the chain, and count and label each consecutive bar or multiples. The ends of shorter strands are labeled with arrows displaying the squared value of the chain. The Bead Cabinet can be used for linear counting, skip counting, rules of multiplication and divisibility, squaring, and cubing of numbers.

Montessori schools like Hudson Montessori School utilize specially designed tools like the Bead Cabinet to promote experiential learning that can be practiced over and over again at each age level. This Montessori in a Minute series regularly explores the unique benefits of these fundamental materials.

To learn more about Hudson Montessori School’s interdisciplinary, theme-based learning approach to education, the Montessori philosophy and methodology, or how the school fosters the love of learning for children age 2 to sixth grade, sign up for an open house tour most Tuesdays at 9 a.m.

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