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Multiplication Bead Board

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A wooden board with 100 shallow holes, 10 horizontal by 10 vertical.
Numbers 1 to 10 are placed in a row above the holes (the multiplier).
On the left, a slot for insertion of the multiplicand card.

A set of small white cards with numbers 1 through 10 in red (the multiplicand)
A small box of 100 red beads (for the product).
A small red disc to be used as a counter.
Multiplication sheets or booklets for all the combinations.
Multiplication Chart 1 (Control Chart 1), listing all possible combinations.


  1. Invite the child to the lesson.
  2. Introduce the bead board, beads, and the cards.
  3. Ask the child to bring the materials to the table.
  4. Bring two papers, underlays, and pencils on a tray.
  5. “This board has numbers up here, they tell us how many times we take a number.”
  6. “These shallow holes are where these beads go.”
  7. “This is our red counter, we can put it here for now in this little spot.”
  8. Place the white number cards in a column on the left, in sequence from 1 through 10.
  9. “Watch this.”
  10. Place the 3 card in the insertion slot on the left side of the board.
  11. “Whoa, look at that!”
  12. Take it out and ask the child to do it.
  13. Write a 3 on the paper in the blank spot underneath “multiplication table of…”
  14. Put a 3 in the first blank spot on the paper.
  15. “Three times one. We’re going to take 3 just one time!”
  16. Move the red counter above the number 3 on the board.
  17. Place 3 beads in the column.
  18. “Ah, of course, three take one time is just three!”
  19. Write a 3 in the answer spot on the paper.
  20. Write a 3 in the next spot.
  21. “Let’s take 3 two times!”
  22. Move the counter above the 2 on the board.
  23. Place 3 beads in the column, counting as you go, starting where you left off with the last answer, which was at 3: “4, 5, 6.”
  24. Hand off the counting to the child to continue up to 10 times.
  25. “Alright, when you are done you can check your answers with multiplication chart 1!”


Child works independently.

Direct Purpose

Memorizing the multiplication table.

Control of Error

Multiplication Chart 1.


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