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Teen Beads

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9 golden ten bars in a small box. 
One of each colored bead bar representing numbers 1 to 9 (Short Bead Stair), in a small box:  

1 – Red
2 – Green
3 – Pink
4 – Yellow
5 – Light Blue
6 – Violet
7 – White
8 – Brown
9 – Dark Blue

A small felt cloth for underlay, preferably black. 


Introduce the Beads
  1. Invite the child to the lesson.  
  2. Ask the child to lay out a rug.  
  3. Show the child the teen beads box. 
  4. Ask the child to take the box to the rug. 
  5. The box goes horizontally at the top left of the rug, the rug should be laid out vertically.  
  6. Take out a ten bar and place it vertically, below the left side of the box. 
  7. Take out another ten bar and place it to the side of the other ten bar, touching sides.  
  8. Ask the child to take out and place the rest.  
  9. Take out a random colored bead, and count it with the child. 
  10. Repeat this process with all the colored beads. 
  11. The colored beads have all been counted and are randomized.  
  12. “Let’s put them back in order.” 
  13. Show the child how to put them in a bead stair/pyramid formation.   
  14. Perform a three-period-lesson with the beads 1, 2, and 3, then 4, 5, and 6, and finally 7, 8, and 9; typically all in the same day, just divided into those three groups.  
Build the Teens
  1. On the same day, or another day, show the child how to build the teens. 
  2. Place the one-bead to the right of a ten bar, aligned with the top bead.  
  3. “10 and 1 make 11, let’s count them together.” 
  4. Count every bead of the ten bar, and then the one-bead. 
  5. “11.” 
  6. Pull the ten bar and the one-bead apart.  
  7. Ask the child to put it back together and count it again, on his own. 
  8. Repeat this process for 12 and 13.  
  9. On another day, review 11, 12, and 12, then repeat this process for 14, 15, and 16.  
  10. On another day, review 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16, repeat this process for 17, 18, and 19. 

When the child has learned 11 – 19, we need to verify: 

  • Form a number and ask the child what number it is.  
  • Ask the child to make any number between 11 and 19. 
  • Ask the child to make numbers in order from 11 to 19,  
    after they are in order, ask the child to say their names in order.  
  • After beads are in order, ask the child to name them backwards.   


Child works independently.


The colored bead bars show the separate quantities from 1 – 9, in combination with the tens, they show that 11 – 19 are made with a ten and a number from 1 – 9. 
To learn the names of the quantities 11 – 19.
To learn the sequence of 11 – 19.  

Control of Error

Child’s secure knowledge of 1 – 10 in order.  


4 1/2


Casually tell the child that 11 and 12 sound funny, but they are still teens even though they don’t end in ‘teen.’
When the child knows the beads 11 to 19, they are ready for teen boards. 
This lesson comes after the golden beads.  

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