Off-road with the bead box

Today AV received a new lesson on cross multiplication.  It involved an improvised checkerboard and a box of beads.  The lesson itself was unremarkable.  What happened afterward was so remarkable.

I called JV over for a lesson and AV was fooling around with the beads instead of putting them away.  I sat to give him the hint:  “Clean your stuff up.  I have important lessons to give.”  JV by now was enticed by the beads.  He began to build a bead triangle.  AV was building a circle with the 10 bars.  I at least had the presence to pause to watch before launching into a clean-up rant.

Here is what ensued.

Dashed prediction that the decagon would meet in the middle.

Why does it work more perfectly with 7?

Logic says this should work

"Yes!" It stayed up until a split second after the shutter closed.



Filed under Bead Boxes, Educational Philosophy, Mathematics, Montessori

3 responses to “Off-road with the bead box

  1. Dear EV –
    My fiance has been teaching “science friday” to my the 6-year-olds at my montessori primary school, and was excited to see AV and JV’s explorations with “sphere packings” (bead stacks). To motivate them to see where this can lead, he wanted me to send you a link to his recent paper on the subject:
    The first 1/4 of the paper is introductory, and talks about stacks of canonballs, smashed peas, and things like that – this should be something they can understand without a mathematical background (he says); the latter part is very technical and abstract. But could be amusing for them to see. Please let us know if they take any interest! 🙂
    take care,
    – Pilar

  2. it looks like your 10 bar beads are slightly bigger than the rest? are they? this is a problem that i have with our beads….just wondering…


    • EV

      The Montessori Outlet beads have had problems in the past. I taught at a school that purchased their products the first year out of the gate. The beads were different sizes then. Now, however, they have rectified the problem.

      I actually prefer them as they are closer to Dr. Montessori’s original size. (When you build the colored bead tower along side the pink tower with the Pythagorus layout it looks better.)

      They don’t work well mixed with other beads from Neinhuis or Bruins. They almost work with Garganzetti’s.

      The ones that really get me are the different sizes for the racks and tubes. If you have two different companies providing these, then you are in for stuck beads. Sniffle.


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