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Montessori Math Beads Presentation Tray


The Golden Beads Presentation Tray is the first lesson in Montessori Math: Introducing Place Value and the Decimal System. The Montessori Math Golden Beads Presentation Tray is a simple presentation including one of each of a unit, a ten bar, a hundred square, and a thousand cube.

What are Montessori Math Beads?

Montessori Math Beads, also known as Montessori Bead Material or Montessori Bead Bars, are a set of educational tools used in Montessori education to teach mathematics concepts to young children. These materials are part of the Montessori method, which was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian physician and educator, in the early 20th century.

Montessori Math Beads typically consist of colored beads and bars of varying lengths. Each bead bar represents a specific numerical quantity, and the colors and lengths of the bars are carefully designed to help children visualize and understand mathematical concepts.


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How Montessori Math Beads are Used to Teach Math Concepts

  1. Counting: Young children begin by using the beads to count and recognize numbers. Each bead bar represents a number, and children can physically touch and move the beads as they count.
  2. Quantity and Numerals: Children learn to associate the quantity of beads on a bar with the corresponding numeral. For example, they learn that a bar with ten beads represents the number 10.
  3. Addition and Subtraction: Montessori Math Beads are also used to teach addition and subtraction. Children can combine bead bars to understand the concept of addition and remove beads to grasp subtraction.
  4. Multiplication and Division: As children progress, they can use the bead bars to explore multiplication and division concepts. They can create arrays with the bars to visualize multiplication, and they can divide a quantity of beads into equal groups to understand division.
  5. Place Value: The Montessori Math Beads system also helps children understand place value. Different colors represent different place values (e.g., units, tens, hundreds), helping children grasp the concept that the position of a digit in a number affects its value.
Montessori math beads

Montessori Math Beads are a hands-on and concrete way for children to explore and internalize mathematical concepts, fostering a deep understanding of numbers and operations. They provide a multisensory approach to mathematics education, allowing children to move from concrete experiences with the beads to more abstract mathematical thinking as they grow and develop math skills.

It’s important to note that while Montessori Math Beads are commonly used in Montessori schools, they can also be adapted for use in other educational settings or at home to support early math learning.

The goal is to introduce the child to the language of the beads, and to the decimal system, and give a concrete exercise with the decimal system.

Golden Bead Presentation Tray

Montessori Math Golden Beads Presentation Tray

Presentation I

  • Let the child know that he is ready for the golden beads. Spread a mat on the floor.
  • “This is the presentation tray of the golden beads. We must be very gentle with them. These beads are very special and we need to be careful not to break or lose them.”
golden beads tray sequence

“This is a unit. Would you like to hold it? Can you say unit?”

  • Place the unit back on the mat. Proceed with the ten bar in the same manner.
  • Pick up the hundred square and introduce it. Lay it left of the ten bar.
  • Once the child is comfortable with the hundred square move onto the thousand cube. Give 3 Period Lessons.

Presentation II

GB Presentation Tray Pres 2

This lesson is about attributes. Talk about how there are ten units in a ten bar, ten ten bars in a hundred square, and so on. Compare and contrast the unit, ten bar, hundred square, and thousand cube by weight, quantity, etc.


  • Play What’s Missing? game
  • Mystery Bag with items on the tray
  • Mix up items from the tray and have the child put them in order


  • Make own beads
  • Draw beads in Presentation Tray
  • Color photocopy of the sketch of a tray
  • Nomenclature cards of materials

Montessori Math Resources


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