Sam has been fascinated with the long bead chains for some time now. I remember his initial interest in working with the thousand chain when he visited one afternoon when Dad came to help us with the computers and he was still attending Glamorgan primary !

Having mastered the decimal system, the formation of numbers and working with various short bead chains including the hundred chain, he was truly ready to work with the thousand chain this term!

Sam took the 1000 chain, the ten hundred squares and the thousand cube to the felt runner that he had unrolled on the floor.

We found that when we arranged the chain in groups of 10 tens, the hundred squares fit exactly on each of these groups. We then stacked up the 10 hundred squares and saw that they were the same size as the thousand cube ! We could see and feel that the 1000 chain was the same as 10 hundred squares; which was the same as the thousand cube!

Sam then unravelled the 1000 chain into a straight line and started counting the beads, placing the correct labels to each of the first 20 beads, then for each subsequent 10 in the 1000 chain. He also placed a hundred square along the chain each time he reached a red hundred label.

Sam, this was really hard work that needed a lot of your concentration and perseverance. When a few labels were missing, you made a new one by writing the correct number on a piece of paper, cut it into an arrow shape and placing it at the correct bead.

You persisted with your task the next morning and it must have been so satisfying when you placed the last “1000” label, the last hundred square and the thousand cube at the end of the chain!

**What learning do I think is happening here?**

Besides linear counting, Sam is indirectly learning the square and cube of a number and to skip count by 10 with this material. He does it in a concrete and sensorial manner as opposed to rote learning done in traditional schools.

**Opportunities and possibilities? **

We will continue to let Sam satisfy his love for learning in the Montessori 3-6 environment; whether in the mathematics, language or other areas of the curriculum!