Yes, we all love the Bank Game. Many people think that this game has to do with exchanging money. This is a different Bank Game and has everything to do with the system of tens called the Decimal System. The children learn that 10 units (or single beads) are the same as 1 ten bar (10 beads strung together on a wire), that 10 ten bars are the same as 1 hundred square (10 ten bars wired together to make 100 beads), and finally that 10 hundred squares make 1 thousand cube (10 hundred squares wired together to make 1,000).
After the children have learned the names of the physical quantities, they learn the numerals for units, tens, hundreds and thousands. When the two are combined the children eventually do all four mathematical operations with these materials. They go to the “bank” to fetch various quantities. They may be given a number such as 2,486 and then go to the “bank” to fetch 2 thousand cubes, 4 hundred squares, 8 ten bars and 6 unit beads.
Last week several children in our afternoon class did the full decimal layout with the physical quantities and the corresponding numerals. They were so proud of their work that they wanted me to take their picture…..so here it is!