Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Montessori Mathematics: The Complete Bead Material - Part 2

Well, I've had my Bolek's order for just over a week now. Wow! That really is a lot of beads! Beading has taken over Christmas preparations, baby preparations, computer time, and my bead stuff comes with me everywhere.

To keep things simple, here's the materials (other than beads) that you will need to make the bead material:

  • Round Nose Pliers (Usually available at craft stores in the beading section.)
  • Linesmen's Pliers or Diagonal Cut Pliers (Found in almost any pliers set money can buy - so check your toolbox, your husband's toolbox, or borrow from an obliging neighbour, and if all else fails, go to your local hardware store!)
  • Wire (This is not the exact wire I bought. I got Panacea Bright Floral Wire Value Pack 22 Gauge 8oz. I had been looking at the wire in the beading/jewellry section at Michael's, but it was all so thin. I needed something that would be able to stand up under much use by children, so I went to the floral section and found this. It's heavy-duty and I've got hopes that it won't tarnish - but who knows for sure?)
  • Plastic Canvas - (I got two 10 1/2 x 13 1/2 sheets for a dollar at my local dollar store. This is used to keep the squares and cubes properly positioned. I found that with 8mm beads - the size of "standard" Montessori beads - the hole size worked really well when using every other hole.)
  • Easy-to-sort containers for holding your loose beads. I just used four-section veggie tray containers from the grocery store. After we've eaten the veggies we usually recycle them, but for this we reused them instead. They keep the beads nicely separated, hold quite a few, and the covers don't come off too easily so I'm not constsantly re-sorting beads... Unless Ella's been "helping!"

There's a few other items that potentially could make beading much easier, but until my next trip to town to get a closer look, I can't say whether or not they're worth it. If I deem so, you'll be sure to hear about it in an upcoming post! But, since I've made squares, cubes, and chains, I know that those options are not absolutely necessary.

A couple thoughts about my Bolek's order. When I ordered the beads I chose opaque colours for all but the golden beads. My thinking was that the wire wouldn't show as much, and I was right. But I discovered an additional benefit: it's easier to find the hole! With light shining through and reflecting off of the beads sometimes that little hole can be elusive. No so with the opaque colours. Perhaps if I was used to working with transparent beads I wouldn't notice such a thing, but I'm not used to it so the easier it is to find the holes the sooner I'll get this done!

As for pictures, yes, there will be some in the very near future. My father and brother have been deer hunting and took Mum's digital camera. When they get back, I'll post photographs showing details on how to make the bead materials.



At 5:14 p.m. , Blogger EatBetterIndian said...

can't wait to see the photographs.. I wish I can make this too..

At 8:53 a.m. , Blogger Tess said...

It's really interesting to follow this kind of post. Thanks very much for sharing it with us :)

At 1:49 p.m. , Blogger Willow said...

I'm wondering which kind of glass beads you ordered from Boleks? I'm not sure which are 8 cm. I love your blog!! It has helped me so much!! I have a daughter similar age as well as a 2 yr old girl. You and I have very similar perspectives and backgrounds. I'm also expecting, but a singleton about a month behind you. Thanks for the help!

At 1:13 p.m. , Blogger My Boys' Teacher said...

I hope you haven't "beaded yourself" to a thousands cube or something! Have you made yourself blind yet?

Thanks again for all of the beading info. I have been passing links on to a ton of people on other blogs and Yahoo Groups...we are all interested to see how things have turned out.

Hope you are well!

At 6:24 p.m. , Blogger HomeSchooler said...

Willow - Good question! The beads I actually bought were plastic, faceted 8MM beads. And for the cost of $2 you can now get a bead colour chart, which you may find useful when trying to decide. Congratulation on your new addition!

Thanks, My Boys' Teacher for passing on the information. I know how long it took me to figure it all out, and being able to save that step is a LOT of time saved!

At 4:38 p.m. , Anonymous Louella said...

Hi! I have been doing research about Montessori homeschooling and I find your site to be really helpful in DIY Montessori materials. Thank you so much for posting them and they are excellent guides for parents like me. I would like to know what curriculum you use and where I can find used ones for sale?

At 7:03 a.m. , Blogger HomeSchooler said...

Hello Louella,

My curriculum is based partly from what I find from internet research, from the writings of Montessori herself, from books written by Montessori educators, and from teaching manuals. I don't know where you could find used curriculum for sale, but I was really impressed with the quality and detail of the manuals I bought from Montessori Research and Development. Plus, I was really impressed with the price. Scroll down to my "Links" section and click on "Montessori Research and Development."


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