Static Subtraction with the Golden Beads

Lesson Progress:

Montessori Static Subtraction with the Golden Beads


A bank of Golden Beads

A set of large number cards

Three sets of small number cards

2 felt mats

A felt lined tray for each child

3 tables – one for the beads (bank)

one for the cards

one floor mat


To teach the child about subtraction in the concrete form.

To teach the child the term “subtraction”




AGE: 4 - 5 years approx.
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  • He also takes away 2 ten bed bars, and 2 hundred bead squares from the mat and places them on his tray.
  • Show the child how to place the small number cards under the large number cards to remind him of the number that he subtracted.
  • The tray with the beads is then set to one side on the mat.
  • The Montessori Directress then tells the children that we must count the beads left over on the mat to find our answer.
  • We start counting the units, then the tens, then the hundreds.
  • The child collects and places the corresponding small number cards below the beads at every stage.
  • The Montessori Directress re-states the sum. She also says that we did “subtraction” – that is, we started with a big amount and now we only have a small amount of beads left.
  • End the work cycle.

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