Free Printables

9 Ways to Practice Multiplication Facts with Montessori Math Bead Bars

One of our co-op friends has really struggled to learn multiplication facts over the years while attending public school.  This has led to extreme anxiety and a lack of progress in math.

After six months of learning with us, our friend is finally ready and willing to work on multiplication the Montessori way to learn them once and for all.  Montessori multiplication is awesome!

Knowing Montessori is still new to our friend, I wanted to create as many resources as possible to provide all of the support he may need to succeed in his endeavor.  

Let me present to you 9 Ways to Practice Multiplication Facts with Montessori Math Bead Bars.

9 Ways to Practice Multiplication Facts Using Montessori Math Bead Bars

Montessori Skip Counting and Multiplication Bundle

All of the printables in this post are from our Montessori Skip Counting and Multiplication Bundle.

The printables provide extra controls for those who may need them and work fabulously well for those who are just beginning their multiplication fact journey.  When used in its entirety you have everything you need to help every child learn their multiplication facts.

Montessori Multiplication and Skip Counting Bundle

When teaching multiplication the Montessori way math bead bars are almost always used.  For our activities presented here they are always used.  

I highly recommend the deconomial box with beads in order to receive the maximum benefit from these printables for lessons and extensions.

If you are unable to afford or obtain access to Montessori Math Bead Bars, the Montessori Skip Counting and Multiplication Bundle provides you with a much less expensive alternative.  

You won't be able to experience the hands on aspect of the work, but you will have Montessori bead cards.

9 Ways to Practice Multiplication Facts the Montessori Way

Now let's view all of the ways these fabulous printables can be used!

9 Ways to Practice Multiplication Facts with Montessori Math Bead Bars

1. Match up word cards with answer cards

The example reads, "two taken twelve times."  Note the matching beads beside the card.  Beads on and beside the top card read horizontally.  The bottom card is the answer.  Notice gold beads are used to create the number.  The answer reads vertically.

2. Match up multiplication problem cards with word cards.

Is your child trying to understand what a multiplication problem is? This is the perfect match up activity to progress from "six taken seven times" to 6x7.  Notice the purple beads below the cards.  If you would prefer the activity in nomenclature form, cards without lines are provided in all sets.

3. Match up answer cards.

How many ways can a number be created using the math bead bars?  When skip counting or introducing multiplication, numbers are created one way.  When creating an answer, numbers are created another way.

4. Match multiplication problem cards with horizontal bead answer cards.

Perhaps your child isn't quite ready to create numbers using the gold bead bars or they're not available?  Or maybe your child needs an extra level of control.  This is the perfect way to reinforce multiplication lessons taught to your child.

5. Use horizontal bead answer cards as skip counting cards.

Organize your cards in order from smallest to largest, placing the correct number of corresponding beads below.

6. Use multiplication problem cards and horizontal bead answer cards as nomenclature cards.

As mentioned previously, nomenclature style cards with and without lines are included in this bundle for every type of card.  I only printed out the lined cards, based on how we would use them in our classroom.  Choose the ones you prefer and viola!

7. Mix and match bead cards and word strips.

If your child is capable and confident with the other work ideas presented here you can always combine one or more activities.

8. Use multiplication fact clip cards with horizontal bead answer cards as a control.

Once your child has learned to read multiplication problems and can skip count, the multiplication fact clip cards are the perfect resource for practice, especially when a child can check their own answers with the answer cards.

9. Match up multiplication cards with vertical answer cards.

If your child is comfortable with multiplication problems, skip counting, and creating whole numbers using the math bead bars, this is a perfect activity to solidify multiplication skills.

As you can tell there are several ways to practice multiplication facts.  It's always so nice to have a variety of activities to ensure mastery on every level.  The multiplication cards from the Montessori Skip Counting and Multiplication Bundle are such a huge help!

For those looking for more multiplication and skip counting resources, be sure to subscribe to our free newsletter by clicking the link below.

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If you enjoyed this post you may also enjoy the following resources.

Montessori Math Bead Bar Printable Pack in Print Montessori Math Bead Bar Printable Pack in Cursive Montessori-inspired Math Bead Bar Play Dough Mats Bundle Montessori Multiplication and Division Bundle Christmas Skip Counting Printable Pack Alternative Montessori Counting and Number Materials Montessori-inspired Introduction to Fraction Activities

9 Ways to Practice Multiplication Facts with Montessori Math Bead Bars

Happy Holidays!

It’s been quite a year (or two) here in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

Picture taken December 2018

We have finally settled into our new lives after a tumultuous transition in 2018. Experiences that made us stronger include: 
  • The loss of Jason’s emergency mental health job (2/1/18)
  • Several delays in the closing of our new home (finally closed (7/18)
  • Sunshine’s nine day stay in the pediatric psychiatric ward (5/18) followed by a lot of intensive in-home therapy and…
  • Sunshine’s enrollment into a full-time day program (6/18)
  • Princess’ enrollment into public school (9/18)
  • Flooding and loss of several items stored in cellar (10/18)
  • Renae’s abnormally high white blood cell count (discovered 11/18)

We’re happy to report that 2019 has been a year of progress and healing for everyone. Our home is now fully furnished and decorated. Renae and Jason’s blog/business is skyrocketing. We’ve even started a Montessori co-op.

Pictures taken January 2019

In 2019 we were able to take two wonderful family vacations, the first to Universal Studios in January 2019.

Pictures taken January 2019

 The second trip was to Williamsburg for a week in July.

Pictures taken July 2019

Jason loves his job at home creating Montessori printables and being Renae’s business partner. When he’s not at the computer he’s cooking, cleaning, and/or caring for kids while Renae fits her work time in. At church he serves as an advisor to the twelve to fourteen-year-old boys.

For Renae, 2019 has been a bit more challenging. She met with a hematologist/cancer specialist in the spring after three blood tests with higher and higher white blood cell counts. There were four hypotheses as to why her counts were off.

1. Severe iron deficiency
2. Inflammation caused by worsening asthma
3. Inflammation caused by trauma
4. A form of blood cancer

Renae decided it was time to work on self-care in big ways. Over the past 8 months she has received an iron injection that sent her into anaphylaxis (and led to a trip to the ER), increased iron intake through diet, received a steroid injection, and increased the dosage of her asthma medication.

She has embraced minimalism more than ever, eliminated stress wherever possible, addressed her anxiety and secondary PTSD (a result of raising two children with trauma), taken mini getaways, practiced meditation, and created a village to help with Sunshine.

Renae’s white blood cell count numbers are FINALLY starting to go down as of her last appointment this month. She can’t wait to see them return to a normal range with continued work in all areas. Self-care is HARD but so important.

Dinomite, 12, is now as tall as Renae and continues to grow. His passion for history, specifically military vehicles and weapons is unmatched. In March he went to Washington D.C. for the first time with Renae (and Bulldozer) visiting all of the memorials and a couple of the Smithsonian museums. It was such a fantastic experience!

Pictures taken March 2019

Dinomite loves music, LEGO, reading, playing video games, and working for the family business to earn money. He continues to homeschool and has thoroughly enjoyed having friends join us a couple times each week.

Bulldozer, 11, is Marvel’s biggest fan. Whether it’s discussing the movies, the music, or the LEGO sets, he knows everything. When he’s not eating, breathing, and sleeping Marvel, he loves playing video games, wrestling with his older brother, making new play lists on Amazon Music Unlimited, and learning all about roller coasters, which is yet another passion.

Pictures taken November 2019

The highlight of Bulldozer’s year was a trip to Universal Studios and Sea World with Renae in November.

Pictures taken November 2019

 Bulldozer lives for theme parks (just like his mom) and finally made the life-long dream of meeting an orca whale up close and personal come true. He communicated with, fed, and played with Shamu.

Pictures taken November 2019

Princess, 10, is homeschooling again. She is doing significantly better without the anxieties associated with peer and teacher relations. We can’t believe how relaxed and content she is at home and just how close she’s become with Renae. Princess loves reading, LEGO, art, and singing. She’s recently shown a huge interest in embroidery and other crafts.

Pictures taken May 2019

At the end of May, Princess and Renae went on a mini vacation to Walt Disney World where they had the time of their lives going on rides, meeting Princesses, eating delicious foods, and watching nighttime movies about the royal family of England.

Sunshine, 8, continues to struggle with managing emotions and at times requires police intervention, but still she is doing the best she’s ever done.

Pictures taken August, September, and October of 2019

Though the events of 2018 were the most traumatic our family has ever gone through, the blessings that have come as a result have been countless. We’ve been so excited to welcome so many wonderful people into our lives who love Sunshine. Just like us, they want her to be the best she can be. These people include her new pediatrician, new psychiatrist, school transport driver, teachers, therapists, respite workers, and more.

Pictures taken December 2019

Sunshine loves stuffed animals, barbies, My Little Pony, LEGO, music, and playing outside. At the beginning of this month the entire family (and respite worker) joined Sunshine for her mini vacation of choice to Great Wolf Lodge and Busch Gardens in Williamsburg. Everyone had a wonderful time.

We hope that you have had a wonderful 2019 and that 2020 is even better! We love you and think of you often.

With love,
Jason, Renae, Dinomite, Bulldozer, Princess, and Sunshine

Montessori Floor Bed for Baby Doll

Last year Sunshine asked Santa for a black baby doll and a bed for her to sleep in for Christmas.  Finding the perfect black baby doll was the easy part.  But the bed...

Sunshine is known for her aggressive and destructive tendencies.  No matter how well built a wooden or metal doll bed is, there is a great chance it would either be destroyed or used in an unsafe way.

I agonized over how I was going to make Sunshine's Christmas wish come true until the most interesting idea came to mind.

Why not get her a Montessori floor bed for her baby?

Montessori Floor Bed for  Baby

Montessori Floor Bed for Baby Doll

Sunshine used a floor bed herself from the time we adopted her until about seven years old when she graduated to a big girl bed.  You can read more about why we used it for her for so long in the post below.

Montessori Floor Bed and Special Needs

It's odd that we often don't think about applying Montessori to play in the way of a doll bed instead of the typical cradle or set of bunk beds.  

Just think of a play world where our Montessori children set up play environments similar to the ways they've been raised.  What a fantastic way to play!

And this is not just an idea for special needs children.  This will work for all of our Montessori children!

How to Create a Montessori Floor Bed for a Baby Doll

Now, it's one thing to create a floor bed for a child, but yet another to figure out how to create one for a baby doll.  Mattresses for baby dolls aren't just something you stumble across every day.

I needed something thicker than a blanket, but not too far from the floor.  And FYI, I don't sew.

At first I thought about a changing table pad, but the way they're shaped now days didn't quite work.

I went to Pottery Barn Kids, my go to place for toys, and stumbled across the Metallic Star Quilt and Pillow.  To be sure it would do the trick I called my favorite Pottery Barn Kids interior designer and asked how thick it was etc.  It would work.  

I ordered it immediately.

I then grabbed the baby doll blanket to go with it knowing how much Sunshine loves blankets and that her baby doll would need one to cover up with.

The cost of the quilt set and doll blanket was so reasonable compared to a baby cradle or set of bunk beds.

Oh, and I couldn't forget her African American baby doll!  

We are huge fans of Stella dolls as they are soft and well made.  The Caucasian baby doll you see in some of the pictures in this post is seven years old and still looks like new.  No matter how rough Sunshine may be with them, they are built to last and so darn cute.

African American Doll with Montessori Bed for Christmas

The Montessori floor bed for Sunshine's babies was so well received Christmas morning.  Sunshine was so excited.  She even commented on how her baby dolls now have a bed just like hers.  She loved the African American doll as well.

The Montessori floor bed has remained set up on her floor for her babies for a year now.  Sometimes she rotates them out.  Other times she specifies that it's only for her African American baby doll and asks for another.

I love that I've been able to pass Montessori on to Sunshine in a new way. I wonder what we can add to her Montessori baby doll environment next!

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like the resources below.
What I Wish I'd Known When My Child was Diagnosed with Autism How to Help My Child Want to Try New Foods How to Help a Child with Constipation A Minimalist Montessori Home Tour: A Little Girl's Bedroom How to Help Your Autistic Child Play Board Games Successfully Morning and Bedtime Routine Visuals and Supports Chores and Practical Life Visuals and Supports Outdoor Visuals and Supports Meal and Snack Time Visual Schedules and Supports for Kids

Montessori Floor Bed for Baby

Christmas Vocabulary in Spanish-FREE Montessori Nomenclature Cards

It only seems appropriate to introduce some Christmas vocabulary in Spanish using Montessori nomenclature cards this holiday season.

Princess absolutely loves learning how to speak and read foreign languages.  She begs for opportunities to better her skills.  

Her passion for language has definitely pushed my husband and I to dust off our own foreign language skills to help her progress.

This Christmas season we're introducing two holidays celebrated in Spanish speaking countries during learning time.

1. Las Posadas
2. Three Kings Day.  

It's time to bring out some FREE Spanish nomenclature cards!

Christmas Vocabulary in Spanish-FREE Montessori Nomenclature Cards

Christmas Vocabulary in Spanish

The Christmas Vocabulary in Spanish Freebie includes twenty-four nomenclature cards.  Each card highlights a specific aspect of the Christmas season.  

All images are true to life.

Each card includes both the Spanish and English translations.

This freebie is designed for Montessori preschool and elementary classrooms.

No associations with Santa Claus and his reindeer are included in this printable.

If you would like to use this wonderful free resource, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

For those looking for more Latin American and Spanish resources, be sure to check out the resources below.

Montessori-inspired Las Posadas Printable Pack

Montessori-inspired Las Posadas Printable Pack

This is a beautiful printable pack that explains all there is to know about Las Posadas. 

It includes so many beautiful true-to-life images as well as gorgeous artwork depicting the story of Mary and Joseph in search of an inn.

The Las Posadas Printable Pack is designed for children in Montessori preschool and elementary classrooms.

Montessori-inspired Three Kings Day Printable Pack

Montessori-inspired Three Kings Day Printable Pack

This resource is perfect for learning about Three Kings day with gorgeous true-to-life images and options in print and cursive.

It focuses on multiple aspects of the holiday including characters, items, and traditions.

Children in Montessori preschool and early elementary classrooms are sure to enjoy all included.

For those interested in more holiday themed activities and printables, be sure to subscribe to our free newsletter by clicking the link below.

Don't forget your free printable!

If you liked this post, you may also enjoy the resources below.
Spanish Activities: Numbers,Colors and Shapes with Free Printables Spanish Pleasantries BINGO Day of the Dead Mini Bundle Montessori-inspired Winter Holidays Around the World Printable Pack Christmas Activities & Free Printables Christmas Unit with Free Printables

Gift Ideas for Girls

Princess LOVED making her wish list this year. There were a few times she had to be reined in, like when she made the list of over 50 LEGO sets she just couldn't live without, but other than that, she seems super excited about the holiday gift giving season.

This is huge progress for Princess, as gift giving season is a trigger for her in so many ways.  Princess loves to give, but she's not a fan of receiving.  Knowing her list was going to turn into gift ideas for girls everywhere made the process so much more fun for her.

If you have a girl on our holiday list this season between the ages of eight and twelve, Princess has you covered. She is so diverse when it comes to likes and interests.

Gift Ideas for Girls

There are six different sections to Princess' wish list aka a gift guide for girls.

1. Dolls
2. Embroidery
4. Bracelet Making
5. Book Series
6. Movies

Gift Ideas for Girls

Gift Ideas for Girls: Dolls

Ever since her younger sister fell in love with Barbie, Princess has been very intrigued by dolls of that nature.

When I showed her the new Creatable World dolls, she was over the moon excited, in that they were all she wanted in a doll and more.  Here are just a few reasons she loves them so much.

  • They come with lots of accessories. 
  • They can be boys or girls.
  • They come in several different ethnicities and skin color.
When it comes to imagination, the sky is the limit with these dolls.  Princess earned enough money to purchase one of these dolls (one not listed on her wish list) a few months ago.  She has not put it down.

The Creatable World dolls are smaller than Barbie dolls.  For that reason she wants a male and a female Barbie doll. Of course not just any will do.  Lol.  She was quite specific about her preferences, which I love.

Creatable World Deluxe Character Kit Customizable Doll, Blonde Curly Hair

Creatable World Deluxe Character Kit Customizable Doll, Black Straight Hair

Creatable World Deluxe Character Kit Customizable Doll, Black Braided Hair

Creatable World Deluxe Character Kit Customizable Doll, Copper Straight Hair (Purchased)

Barbie Collector Holiday Doll 2015, Brunette (Purchased)

Barbie Ken Fashionistas Doll Classic Cool Doll

Gift Ideas for Girls: Embroidery
In October I introduced a Halloween themed embroidery and button sewing activity in our Montessori classroom.  Princess was instantly drawn to it and couldn't get enough of it.  She LOVED the process of creating, especially when she could design the pattern herself.  Needless to say she wants to do more of these types of activities and asked for supplies.

I love that she's showing an interest in these types of activities as it's always a benefit to keep her hands and mind busy.  Princess has already picked out a place in her room to store all of these fun items.

Embroidery: A Step-by-Step Guide to More than 200 Stitches (Purchased)

Similane Aida Cloth 14 Count Cross Stitch Fabric, White 12x18-Inch

Peirich Embroidery Floss Cross Stitch Threads,110 Colors Friendship Bracelets Floss with Organizer Storage Box Embroidery Thread Bracelet String Embroidery Kit 43 Pcs Cross Stitch Tools

Similane 12 Pieces 4 Inch Embroidery Hoops Bamboo Circle Cross Stitch Hoop Ring for Embroidery and Cross Stitch

890 PCS Crafts Assorted Buttons Mixed Color Resin Round Craft for Kid's Button Painting

Pink Container Storage Boxes 2 Pack

Gift Ideas for Girls: LEGO
Princess has always loved LEGO.  She loves creating, taking things apart, and rebuilding them.  I kid you not she keeps every set of directions in her room for when she needs them.  Princess is so meticulous.  LEGO building and rebuilding feeds the precise and orderly side to her brain while at the same time inviting imagination and role play.

Princess loves LEGO friends above any other kind of LEGO, but like I mentioned earlier I had her narrow down her choices from 50+ to six.  You really can't go wrong with LEGO.  The sets on this list are brand new ones this year that she doesn't have.

LEGO Friends Turtles Rescue Mission #41376 (Purchased)

LEGO Friends Stephanie’s Gymnastics Show #41762

LEGO Friends Mia's Horse Trailer #41371

LEGO Friends Heartlake City Supermarket #41362

LEGO Friends 4+ Mia’s Foal Stable #41361

LEGO Friends Emma’s Art Studio #41365 (Purchased)

Gift Ideas for Girls: Bracelet Making

Princess has had a love hate relationship with jewelry.  She loves to wear jewelry, but is also rough with it to the point that many jewelry pieces break.

This year she's been very specific in that she wants more jewelry. I've been clear with my concerns.  We discussed the issue and decided that the very best way to provide her with opportunities to have more jewelry and help me with my concerns, is for her to make her own jewelry!

I LOVE this idea in that it will keep her hands and brain busy, enhance creativity, and if something breaks, she has the means to fix it.

Once again, she has already cleared out a space in her room to store supplies, the organized child that she is.  Lol.

Alex DIY Wear I Heart Charm Bracelets Kids Art and Craft Activity

17000 Pcs 24 Colors Pony Glass Seed Beads,3mm Pony Beads for DIY Bracelets,Necklaces, Key Chains

PP OPOUNT Bracelet Making Beads Kit with 50 Embroidery Floss, 1930 Pieces Alphabet Letter Beads and Braiding Disc for Friendship Bracelets, Jewelry Making

Friendship Bracelets 101: Fun to Make, Wear, and Share! (Purchased)

Choose Friendship My Friendship Bracelet Maker Kit

Gift Ideas for Girls: Books

Princess LOVES to read.  It's rare not to find a book in her hand. Our biggest dilemmas are that she's a speed reader and her reading capacity is far above her grade level.  Finding enough age appropriate stories for her can be incredibly difficult.  You will find no single book selections on her list.

Thankfully Princess has a big brother with the same problem.  He's happily introduced her to some new material like Percy Jackson.  Another benefit is that Princess loves to reread her favorite books over and over again.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians 5 Book Paperback Boxed Set (Purchased)

The Mysterious Benedict Society Complete Paperback Collection

Emily Windsnap: Six Swishy Tails of Land and Sea

Gift Ideas for Girls: Movies

Princess is at the point in her movie selections where she's not quite ready for all of the PG-13 craze, but is growing out of little kids movies.  I LOVE her movie wish list this year.  There were so many great movies that came out for preteens this year that aren't PG-13.

LEGO Movie 2, The Second Part Blu-ray (Purchased)

Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse Blu-ray

Bumblebee Blue-ray (Purchased)

How to Train Your Dragon 3 Blue-ray (Purchased)

Aladdin Blue-ray

Mary Poppins Returns Blue-ray

I can't wait to start shopping for Princess, with all of the fantastic ideas she came up with. Hopefully this wish list helps you with girls on your wish list this year too!

Gift Ideas for Girls