Sunday, September 22, 2013

How to Make 100 Bead Strings

I have had many requests lately to talk more about 100 bead strings so here we go:

Here are a few shots of me using my 100 bead strings.
Using the 100 bead string as a fraction and decimal number line

Finding pairs of 100

Playing a game with pairs of 100

Playing 100 Take away with Base 10 cards
  For someone who has only been blogging for a few months... you can see that these get used over and over again.  The pictures above were taken in grades 2-5 so there is a wide range of times where these are used.  I also use them in K and 1 for counting and grouping activities and thinking about adding and subtracting multi-digit numbers.  

Materials Needed (To make 20 Bead Strings)
All prices given are for what I paid on Amazon 
Red Pony Beads (1000 beads per package)  $5.14
White Pony Beads (1000 beads per package) $6.13
Colored Cords (42 yards) $5.10.  You will only use about half of this and have the rest left over for another project or to share with another teacher!

Grand total $16.37 which is about 82 cents per bead string.  The shipping was free when I spent $25 which meant I ended up ordering a few other things while I was on Amazon.

How to make
- Cut colored cord into sections about 1 yard long.  Fold over a few inches and tie off one end.  I like to leave a loop on the end so that I can hang them up when I am not using them.

- Once the ends are tied off, I like to have pairs of students make these.  Working together, they alternate 10 reds with 10 white beads until they get to 100.  Once there, I have them re-count to check and/or I have them put their bead string up against one I already have made to see if their sections match up with mine.

- Once we have checked the bead string, it is time to tie off the other end.  Older students can sometimes do this themselves but I often end up tying off all of them myself in younger grades.

Now your bead strings are ready to use!  The possibilities are endless:)

How do you or would you use a 100 bead string in your classroom?


  1. Very intriguing! I haven't seen these before. I'd love to see a post on how you use them with k to 2.
    Love your teaching math! Thank you!

    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers Blog Designs

    1. I am working on another post a up how I use them with younger kids. Stay tuned!