The Counting Chain really originated from a lesson in square roots for older children. The younger children in the classroom were attracted to the 100 and 1000 golden bead chain and began counting the 10 golden bead bars. Montessori encouraged this activity and the counting chain is done in preschool and kindergarten.
You can do this activity after you have introduced the Golden Bead Material and the children have a good understanding of counting in 10's up to 100 and 1000, respectively. Also, the child knows number symbols, 10 through 1000. Children as young as 4 can do this activity.
You will need a chain of 10 golden beads attached together to form the 100 chain. The 10 golden bead bars are usually attached with a larger, round, metal circle.
The 1000 chain consists of 100 of the ten golden beads attached together in the same manner as the 100 chain.
I usually place the arrows in order in the beginning-10-20-30-40-50-60-70-80-90-100.
Continue on for the 1000 counting chain.
From the cupboard, I show the child how to fold up the chain and carry it to an open area on the rug.
We carefully spread out the chain. Counting by 10's, mark each 10 bead with an arrow. 10 for the ten bead bar, 20 for the 2 ten bead bars, and so on.
Advanced counting games
Compare the 100 chain to the 1000 chain.
Count by 100's, 5's, 2's and 1's
You can make arrows for 100's, 5's, 2's and 1's by using the plain arrow printout.
Hand print the numbers you wish to use.