Montessori Elementary Homeschool Blog - with documentation of our infant Montessori, toddler Montessori, and primary Montessori experiences; as well as preparation for the upcoming adolescent Montessori homeschool years.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Making Montessori Materials: Bead Chain Arrows




I got tired of the paper/cardstock arrows. So thin, they slip around, hard to pick up when the focus should be on counting. They get *lost*.

The file I original used has two of the colors switched; I was able to change them (after I'd already printed the wrong arrows), then ran out of ink so had to wait. One thing leads to another, years have passed and the children are just making their own arrows out of paper for those two colors. I tried to print them again, but lost the modified file and don't have Adobe that lets me modify things anymore (and don't want to pay for it). Yeah. Craziness.

I kept saying I was going to switch to popsicle sticks.

Well, I started making the Keys of the Universe elementary Montessori mathematics videos - and my mission is to work on the corresponding materials as I get to the videos that need them. So there you go - or there I go. A simple project that became a big deal when it sat in my living room for months ;)

This material is indeed very easy.

What do you need?
  • A package of normal size popsicle sticks 
  • A package of tongue depressors
  • White very-fine-tip paint marker (for writing on darker colors)
  • Black very-fine-tip paint marker (for writing on most of the colors)
  • Paint in each of the bead cabinet colors (for "gold", I kept the sticks natural)
  • I also used a gold paint marker to outline the wide stick that represents the cube of the number. 
  • Note: I did not do the initial counting up at the beginning - these ones I will do in cardstock to keep them narrow. Easy enough to replace those for primary use (elementary students don't use them)
TIME: These took less time to make then printing, laminating and cutting the cardstock arrows.... Just saying.

I chose to paint just one end - just on one side at first; but I found it was easier to sort them and use them with the bead chains when the color was on both sides. So the *number* is currently only on one side (could be on both). 

The numbers are written so the arrows are placed below the bead chain; I really could have, should have written them so the numbers are placed on the far side of the bead chain from the child, yet readable. Wasn't thinking much at the time. ;) 

They still work for elementary. Will have to test for primary.

A video from elementary:



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