Large Bead Frame

A detailed guide to understanding the Large Bead Frame material and how it is used within the Upper Elementary curriculum

How does it work?

The Large Bead Frame provides a valuable bridge to abstraction for your child’s understanding of multiplication. As they move from the very hands-on experience of earlier materials, your child utilizes the Large Bead Frame in elementary to practice new aspects of long multiplication and to record their work on paper.

Work with the Large Bead Frame begins with an understanding of how to make and read quantities using the frame. Your child uses a special kind of paper for this purpose, one that aligns with what they see on the frame and that’s aptly called the Large Bead Frame Paper.

Prerequisite Skills - There’s no need to rush this introductory phase as it’s an important foundation for future work. The Large Bead Frame is an enduring material for ages 5-11 and should be introduced when your child has a strong understanding of:

  • Place value and the hierarchy of numbers with the Golden Beads and Wooden Hierarchical Material
  • Short multiplication with the Stamp Game
  • Long multiplication with the Checkerboard
Orientation to the Large Bead Frame

Sample lesson

Start by watching this sample lesson from our Guidepost Homeschool platform that will familiarize you to the Large Bead Frame and its use.

If you are already subscribed to Guidepost Homeschool, scroll down to see all the corresponding lessons where the Large Bead Frame is used in our curriculum. To unlock more than 2,000+ lessons subscribe to Guidepost Homeschool today.

How to set up

Setup - When not in use and when readying for use, always align the beads of the Large Bead Frame at the left side where the colored sections are; this is their ‘starting position’. To make numbers and perform operations, the child slides beads over to the right side of the frame.

Additional materials - Identify a place at your child’s math shelf for the Large Bead Frame along with supplies needed to work with this material including:

  • Large Bead Frame Paper
  • Pencil
  • Red Colored Pencil

Guidepost Homeschool Subscribers - You can download a printable version of the Large Bead Frame Paper from inside Altitude

For Guidepost Homeschool subscribers

If you are already subscribed to Guidepost Homeschool, start in the order below to navigate to the corresponding lesson plans using the Large Bead Frame in our Altitude learning platform.

Wondering about supplies used in particular lessons? Detailed materials lists can be found at the beginning of each lesson in Guidepost’s Altitude system, as well as on the materials cards at the beginning of each unit.

  • Corresponding Altitude lessons

    Lessons (Altitude Cards) where the Large Bead Frame is used

    Large Bead Frame (Ages 6-9)

    • Orientation to Large Bead Frame
    • Building and Reading Quantity
    • One Value, Two Names
    • Writing Numbers
    • Review of Short Multiplication
    • Multiplication by 10, 100, 1000
    • Long Multiplication (Final Product)
    • Writing Partial Products
    • Dynamic Division with the Stamp
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