Making a set of two-sided beans is quick and easy. Take a bag of dried butter beans (available in any supermarket), lay on newspaper and spray on one side with non-toxic spray paint in your chosen colour. Leave to dry and you’re ready to go.
Shake and Spill
Using the beans to investigate ways to partition the number 5
Take 5 beans and put in a cup. Shake the cup and spill the beans.
Say “I have….red beans and ……white beans. I have 5 beans altogether”.
Keep rolling and counting the number of red beans and the number of white beans.
How many different ways do the beans spill?
Ask children to think about how they can record what they have done. “How are you going to remember all the different ways?”
- Record by using the beans themselves – put them on a large piece of paper, draw a circle around each combination.
- Draw pictures of the beans.
- Use digit cards and place them alongside the beans.
- Match to Numicon shapes.
- Match a number sentence.
- Write a number sentence.
- Use a part-whole diagram.
Encourage children to say how many of each colour there are without counting in ones – to subitise.