Saturday, May 14, 2011

Make Your Own Counting Beads

Step by Step instructions on how to make your own counting beads!
You can also use this as an art project to make a class set.

What you'll need for each string of beads:
- 100 pony beads from a craft or department store (the holes inside the beads need to be big enough to string on 1/4" thick elastic)
- 3 feet of 1/4" thick elastic from a craft or fabric store
- scissors to cut the elastic

1. Tie a knot in one end of the elastic so the beads don't slip off.

2. Start stringing beads onto the elastic.  I chose to string the beads on in groups of ten, changing colours with each group.  You may choose to use all of the same colour.
3. Leave approximately 8 inches of elastic at the end before tying your second knot so that the beads have room to slide back and forth along the elastic.

Examples of their use:
Children can use the counting beads to practice counting and addition.  In this picture, students were asked to use their beads to show 5 + 2

When they push the beads together, they can now count the 7 beads to discover 5 + 2 = 7.

Students can also experiment with division (and multiplication).  In this example we are going to ask the student to divide these 12 beads in 4 equal groups.  They have now discovered that 12/4 = 3.

Try to look for beads similar to these.  Easy to string (even with little fingers)  ;)

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