A detailed guide to understanding the Stamp Game material and how it is used within the Early Years and Lower Elementary curriculum
How does it work?
The Stamp Game brings the foundation that is laid with the Golden Beads to the next level of abstraction. Students use the Stamp Game to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division with multi-digit numbers. It is the ideal transition material for bringing students to a first level of fluency in arithmetic and for igniting an interest in memorizing math facts.
Guidepost’s Stamp Game consists of wooden colored tiles, each color representing a category of the decimal system, as well as skittles (person-shaped pieces) and disks for more complex division work. It comes in a compartmentalized wooden box with a lid.
Whereas the Golden Beads represent quantity in a truly concrete way (a ten bar is made of 10 unit beads, a hundred square is made of 100 unit beads), the colored stamps of the Stamp Game are more symbolic. For example, the ten (10) stamp is the same size and shape as the unit (1) stamp. It is differentiated only by its color and symbol.
Prerequisite Skills - Working with the Stamp Game is best introduced when your child has shown a mastery of concepts learned through working with the Golden Bead Set, namely:
- Making and reading numbers with the Golden Beads
- Able to practice each operation with the Golden Beads
- Reading and understanding of numbers between 10-20
Start by watching this sample lesson from our Guidepost Homeschool platform that will familiarize you to the Stamp Game and its use.
If you are already subscribed to Guidepost Homeschool, scroll down to see all the corresponding lessons where the Stamp Game is used in our curriculum. To unlock more than 2,000+ lessons subscribe to Guidepost Homeschool today.
How to set up
Setup - Carefully remove all packaging material. Note that some Montessori parts are very small – be mindful not to inadvertently discard anything.
Orient the Stamp Game box so that the number tiles are toward the bottom. Check that the thousand stamps are in the left compartment, then hundreds, tens, and finally units at right.
The skittles (person-shaped pieces) and flat counters belong in the two compartments at the top of the box. Place the box alongside other math materials at your child’s shelf of learning materials.
Additional materials - In general, you can count on the following supplies being used with the Stamp Game, so it’s a good idea to have them on hand in a child-accessible manner:
- Graph paper (½" squares)
- Colored pencils in red, blue, and green
- Clipboard or other hard surface for writing on
- Thin strips of card stock (approximately 1/3” x 11”)
- Slips of plain paper (approximately 1” x 11”)
A small whiteboard and marker can also be useful for composing numbers for the child to make on the Stamp Game.
Usage Tips - The Stamp Game is best used at a child-height table.
When making numbers and performing operations with the Stamp Game, use the bottom edge of the box and four compartments as tools for organizing the child’s workspace. For example, in the example picture here, notice that the green unit stamps are lined up directly below the units compartment at right, blue tens stamps are below the tens compartment, red hundreds stamps are lined up below the hundreds compartment, and the green thousands are below the thousands compartment at the far left. The quantity that’s shown in the example is 3,642.
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 Stamp Game 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 Stamp Game is used
Math: (5-7) The Stamp Game
- Introducing the Stamp Game
- Stamp Game – Addition
- Follow Up: Stamp Game - Static Addition
- Follow Up: Stamp Game - Dynamic Addition
- Stamp Game – Subtraction
- Follow Up: Stamp Game - Static Subtraction
- Follow Up: Stamp Game - Dynamic Subtraction
- Stamp Game – Multiplication
- Follow Up: Stamp Game – Multiplication
- Stamp Game – Division
- Follow Up: Stamp Game – Division
Arithmetic Fundamentals (Ages 5-9)
- Composing Numbers with the Stamp Game
- Addition with the Stamp Game (Static and Dynamic)
- Static Subtraction with the Stamp Game
- Dynamic Subtraction with the Stamp Game
- Static Multiplication with the Stamp Game
- Dynamic Multiplication with the Stamp Game
- Static Division with the Stamp Game
- Dynamic Division with the Stamp Game
- Long Division with the Stamp Game
- Long Division with the Stamp Game: Zero in the Dividend
- Long Division with the Stamp Game: Zero in the Divisor
Group Division (Ages 6-12)
- Single Digit Divisor
- Multi-Digit Divisor
- Special Cases for Group Division
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