Saturday, August 2, 2014

OGAP Training, the Bead Number Line, and a FREEBIE!

Number lines. We've all seen them. We've all used them. We all probably have at least one in our classrooms. I know I do. I have three! There are all different types of number lines that you can use.
traditional number lines

 number paths

 ten frames number lines (I guess that is what you would call them)

 All are GREAT resources to have in your classroom because there are SO many things that you can do with each one. Adding, subtracting, number identification, patterns, the list goes on and on!

This summer I attended OGAP training. OGAP is an acronym for On-Going Assessment Project. It is a project that began in Vermont and is making its way around the United States. All is it in a nutshell is a way to use formative assessment in the classroom effectively. (For more information on OGAP you can click {here}.

While at the training this summer, I learned about a new type of number line: the bead number line. 

I had heard about the bead number line previously from AMSTI training but wasn't sold on the idea until this summer when I saw everything that it can be used for. It is a MUST HAVE for any elementary grade! It is a great hands-on tool that can be easily accessible to students. It can be as long or as short as you want/need. The one that we made at the training had 100 beads. Depending on your standards though, you could do more or less. The first grade teachers that were at the training discussed putting 120 beads on their number lines because of the first grade standard of counting to 120. Great idea, right?

My thought for using this type of number line in my classroom this year is to start off with 20 beads. I want my students to become comfortable with using the bead number line without becoming overwhelmed with 100 beads. Even with only 20 beads on the line, there is so much that you can do! Here are a few ideas:
1. Have students practice one-to-one correspondence by simply counting the beads
2. Have students find the distance between two numbers (EX: Find 7. Now find 16.What is the distance between the two numbers?)
3. Skip counting (5's, 2's)
4. Compare numbers
The possibilities are endless!
Once my students are comfortable with using the 20 beads, I will increase the bead line by 10 beads until we reach 100 beads. I CAN'T wait to start using this with my new kinders!

Want to make your own?
All you need are different colored pony beads and a shoelace!

Now to make a bead number line:

The first thing that you do is tie a knot at one end of the shoe lace.

Next, begin stringing the beads, 10 at a time, alternating colors.

Once you have the number of beads that you want for your number line (20, 100, 120, etc), tie a knot at the opposite end.

After you have built your number line, you have the option of dividing your line into groups of five by simply coloring the end of every 5th bead with a black sharpie. (This step is optional, but it really makes the number more user-friendly.)

Now you have a bead number line! 

A clothespin may be used to help manipulate the number line. For example, if you were wanted your students to find the distance between two number, a clothespin could be used to mark the location of the first number.

Now because you have stuck with reading this somewhat lengthy post, I have for you a Bead Number Line FREEBIE!
Click on the picture to download the Bead Number Line Task Cards. This FREE pack includes 56 different tasks that you can use to help build number sense in your students! 

I hope that you enjoyed learning about the bead number line and will consider using it with YOUR students!


  1. Thanks for the tutorial and the suggestions. I've never heard of this so yay for teaching me something.

  2. What a wonderful idea...I have a little guy in my Resource Room that is having difficulty with counting. This will be great for him. Thanks, Carla

  3. This is a great way to use the number line. Plus this is a great way to differentiate the needs for each child. I love it!

  4. Thanks for sharing this idea. I am going to use it the first week as a formative assessment to see what my kiddos know!
    :0) Cara
    Kindergarten Boom Boom

  5. cheap ted baker uk Thank you for letting me have a good mood. Said. ted baker dresses sale Nodded ah, cheap cheap ted baker uk Minzui smile, looked pretty moonlit said, you want to test it in Jiangsu and Cheap.  cheap ted baker uk cheap good shameless, ted baker uk sale but a good laugh. Thank you. Stop the smile said. Thank me anything. How about you. cheap asked again, you have cheap ted baker uk people like you.