Learning Multiplication Using Montessori Colored Bead Bars

Thursday, August 17, 2017

My previous post on multiplication using the Montessori Multiplication Bead Board has been very popular, and I’m so happy that a lot of people find it useful.  Now in this post, I’m sharing that the use of Bead Board is just one of the many ways of teaching multiplication in a Montessori classroom.  Another favourite of ours is the use of the colored bead bars.  This is usually introduced after the Multiplication Bead Board or the Charts (though I will share about the Multiplication Charts soon!).  We’ve worked with several multiplication activities using the bead bars, but in this post, I’m just going to highlight the basic presentation.   Again please note, that this is based on a home set-up.

Learning Multiplication Using Montessori Colored Bead Bars
Materials Needed
  • Montessori bead bars (we are using Decanomial Beads)
  • Notebook
  • Pencil
  • Multiplication Chart 1
Age

For 6 years old and older.

Purpose

For hands-on activity in learning multiplication using concrete materials like the Montessori bead bars. This will assist the child in memorizing multiplication facts that are essential in higher mathematics.

How to Teach Multiplication using Bead Bars

Tell the child that you are going to demonstrate multiplication using the Montessori bead bars.  Once the materials are placed on the table (or on the rug), ask the child to pick a number of her choice which you will use to present multiplication.  If this is their first time to do the activity, encourage the child to pick a smaller number.  Our example in this post is bead bar 3 (pink).  Pick the three bead bar and place it horizontally in front of you.  Say “this is 3 one time.  3 times 1 is 3.”  Have your child pick the three bead bar and place it vertically below the 3 bead bar.  See the image below for presentation. 

The child records the result in the notebook.

Multiplication Using Montessori Colored Bead Bars
Next, get two three bead bars and place it horizontally beside the first bead bar.  Say “this is 3 two times.  3 times 2 is 6.” Have your child pick the six bead bar and place it below the two bead bars.  Continue working up to three ten times (3 times 10) with your child recording the results in his/her notebook. 

Multiplication Using Montessori Colored Bead Bars
Multiplication Using Montessori Colored Bead Bars

Here’s the example end product of the multiplication table of 10:

Multiplication table of 10 with Bead Bars
In some other days, you can work with other numbers like the ones in the picture, here my son was working with 5’s.

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Adding Labels
Once your child has gotten used to the process of using bead bars in multiplication, he/she can start adding the arithmetic equations to help her memorize and prepare for abstract work.

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Multiplication by Ten
When working with 10’s, allow your child to explore and notice the pattern that to multiply by 10, is to just add zero after the multiplier.  See the image below for demonstration:

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Video Demonstration



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Learning Multiplication Using Montessori Colored Bead Bars

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