Friday, September 19, 2014


I’m going to share my idea for what I call brain beads, but you can “harvest” this idea and use it in any way that works for you. It’s a hands-on way to learn and keep little fingers busy.
You’ll need pipe cleaners and pony beads to make these for your students. (You’ll have to do this for the little ones, but the older kids could make their own.) Place one bead on the pipe cleaner and knot it at the end. Insert 10 other beads. Knot a bead at the other end to keep them from sliding off.

Math- Hold the pipe cleaner horizontally and slide the beads from left to right as you count 1-10. Flip it over and count 11-20. Keep flipping and counting.
*Hold the pipe cleaner vertically and slide the beads up and down as you count.
*Call out numbers and have children make that set with their beads.
*Have children use their beads to solve addition and subtraction problems.
*If you are familiar with rekenrek you could use these in a similar way by using five beads of each color.

Words – Count the words in a sentence as you slide the beads.

Syllables – Use the beads to represent syllables in a word.

Phonemes – Count the sounds in a word with the beads and then slide them together to blend the sounds and say the word.

Recall – After reading a non-fiction book or having a lesson tell the children to use their beads to show what they learned. Challenge them to try and remember at least 3 details.

Self Control – Explain that if they are worried or frustrated they can use their beads to help relax. Breath deeply in and out as they slowly slide their beads to the opposite side.

Can you think of other ways to use these beads?