Spark Insight Journal – Page 12 – Work Highlight – Chains

The bead chain cabinet has visitors on a daily. These colorful-looking chains draw the attention of the learners old and new. The older ones find joy each time they can count further than the previous time, and the younger ones await a lesson earnestly. This visually appealing work requires both manual dexterity and persistence. Like any math or sensorial work, this lesson creates a sensorial impression of bigger concepts in their brain. This material illustrates the squares and cubes of numbers from 1 to 10. The chains sitting on the shelves illustrate the squares of numbers while the hanging chains illustrate the cubes of numbers. This material takes children from the concrete to the abstract.  At the simplest level, it is a counting exercise to practice the order of numbers -that after 39 comes 40, etc.  At the next level, this material illustrates skip counting, counting by ones, twos, threes, etc. all the way up to counting by tens. Towards the end of the Spark program and in the lower elementary, this material serves as indirect preparation for the memorization of the multiplication tables.  This material also illustrates the squares and cubes of these numbers and their relationships with each other.