23 January, 2012

A Happy Marriage: Driftwood Bead Chain Hanger

Hello dear readers,

As you know if you have been perusing my blog, I use and love many ideas from various philosophies of teaching.  I use whatever seems to work best for me and my class each year, although of course I have some "tried and true" favorites to which I return, time and time again.

I think I have recently created a new soon-to-be "tried and true" favorite, a driftwood (for me this is a Waldorf education-inspired, natural material) hanger for my Montessori bead chains!

In the past, I have always hung these "square" bead chains with cup hooks, from a wooden chalk board ledge.  It was practical and it worked, but it wasn't especially inviting. This year however, I find myself in a new classroom space with a new classroom layout. Plus my math materials shelf is not against a wall.  I thought about attaching the old cup hooks to the side of the shelf, but somehow I just hadn't gotten around to it.  I think I was simply uninspired.

Then I found this beautiful piece of driftwood over the Winter holidays, and I knew just what I should do with it!  I sanded, smoothed, and polished it, and added my old cup hooks.  I attached a piece of picture wire to the back, and hung the whole thing on the side of the math shelf.  It looks lovely if I do say so myself, and it seems every child who comes into the room cannot help but run his or her fingers along the chains.  Toddler siblings seem especially enchanted by it.

Now, if only my bead chains were made from glass beads through which sunlight could shine and sparkle!

How have you "married" two or more philosophies of teaching?



  1. Karen, I love what u have done!!! You know I am one of your most avid readers and this idea is FANTASTIC!! It is aesthetically beautiful and appealing and still such a wondeful teaching set!!! I will have to go walking around a bit more on our burrow. Lots of drift wood there. What length would I need?

    1. Hmm, I just found this and made it fit. But, I guess if you were hanging your squared chains, you might want 1 cm per chain and 1 - 2 cms between each one, and maybe a few cms at either end. My math skills may be rusty here but wouldn't that total maybe somewhere btw 24 - 30 cms?

      I bet you have fabulous drift wood where you live! I had to get out Ohio river yuck before I could use mine. : )


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