Select Page

Multiplication Bead Bars

  1. Home
  2. Knowledge Base
  3. Mathematics
  4. Memorization
  5. Multiplication Bead Bars


A compartment box with plentiful assortment of bead bars 1 to 10.
A felt mat color-coded yellow, or black (or a floor mat or rug).
Paper and pencil (for exercise 2).


Presentation and Exercise 1
  1. Invite the child to the lesson.
  2. Introduce the multiplication bead bar box and its corresponding underlay.
  3. Ask the child to bring the materials to a table.
  4. Roll out the underlay and place the lid underneath the box.
  5. Review the bead bars with the child by asking him to find random numbers such as:
    “Can you find 3? Right. What about 7? Okay, and 9?”
  6. Choose a number to use for multiplication, such as seven.
  7. Place a 7 bar horizontally at the far left of the rug:
    “How much is seven taken one time? Right, just seven!”
  8. Place a 7 bar vertically, right below the horizontal 7 bar.
  9. Place two 7 bars horizontally to the right of the first 7 bar:
    “How much is seven taken two times? Let’s find out!”
  10. Use the counter to count the 7 bars, left to right.
  11. Stop when you count to ten, leave the counter in its place.
  12. Place a golden 10 bar vertically, below the horizontal 7 bars.
  13. Keep counting the bar from where you left off:
    “1, 2, 3, 4.”
  14. Place a 4 bar vertically, right next to the golden 10 bar.
  15. “How much is seven taken two times?”
  16. Count “1, 2, 3, 4, 5…14!”
  17. “Seven take two times is fourteen!”
  18. Let the child continue multiplying seven through this same process, all the way up to seven times nine.
  19. Once the child finishes, randomly ask what the multiples got, such as
    “What does seven times three get you?”
  20. On another day, let the child repeat this process with a different number.
Recurrence of the Zero
  1. Invite the child to the lesson.
  2. “I have something new to show you!”
  3. Ask the child to bring the multiplication bead bar box and underlay to a table.
  4. Bring two papers, pencils and underlays on a tray.
  5. Take a 2 bar out of the box.
  6. Write a 2 in the first box of the paper.
  7. “Let’s take this out ten times!”
  8. Count a total of ten 2 bars.
  9. Place the bars horizontally in a column on the left.
  10. With the counter, count the beads, stop once you reach ten, leave the counter in its place.
  11. Place a 10 bar vertically below the column.
  12. Continue counting from where you left off:
    “1, 2, 3…10.”
  13. Place another 10 bar next to the other 10 bar.
  14. “Twenty!”
  15. With the child’s attention, dramatically move your pencil to the paper and write a 0 after the 2.
  16. “Look! All I had to do was add a zero!”
  17. Repeat this process for 3; 3 taken 10 times.
  18. Hand it off to the child, but stay with the child as he works with numbers 4 through 9, all taken 10 times.
  19. Once the child finishes up 9, taking it 10 times, say:
    “Wow! All these numbers taken 10 times, just needed a zero at the end!”
Ways to Make a Number
  1. Invite the child to the lesson.
  2. Ask the child to bring the multiplication bead bar box and underlay to a table.
  3. “Let’s make twelve in different ways!”
  4. Place a 10 bar and a 2 bar vertically on the underlay.
  5. “There is twelve! Now, let’s make twelve with just 2 bars!”
  6. Place a 2 bar horizontally on the underlay and count:
    “1, 2.”
  7. Place another 2 bar horizontally under the previous one, count:
    “3, 4.”
  8. Repeat this process until you’ve counted to twelve.
  9. “Oh, two taken six times, is twelve!”
  10. Repeat this process, making twelve using the three bars.
  11. Hand it off to the child to do the 4 bars.
  12. When the child arrives at the 5 bars, let him discover you can not make twelve with 5 bars.
  13. “Oh, you are right, that is too much! We can’t make twelve with fives! We can put the 5 bars back in the box.”
  14. Let the child keep trying to make twelve with 6 through 9.
  15. Once all the beads are out on the underlay, compare the combinations.
  16. Place the two 6 bars vertically next to the 2 bars.
  17. “Look, they look the same! I bet you could fit them on top of each other!”
  18. “Two taken six times, and six taken two times, are really the same thing!”
  19. Compare the four 3 bars and the three 4 bars in the same way.


Child works independently.

Direct Purpose

Memorization of the multiplication tables.
To reinforce the concept of multiplication.
To reinforce the idea that the multiplier is not a quantity, but rather the numbers of times a quantity must be taken.

Indirect Purpose

Preparation for division.
Show the geometrical form of multiplication.
Showing that a line moving in space makes a surface.
Preparation for working with factors.

Control of Error

Control for subtraction chart 1 is subtraction chart 1.
Control for subtraction chart 3 is subtraction chart 2.


5 1/2 to 6

Was this article helpful?