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bead and other counters

Page history last edited by Regina Claypool-Frey 12 years, 8 months ago





To buy a TAGulator bead counters or Belt Bead Marker Pair - McGreevy



How to use a Belt Bead Marker Pair - McGreevy to keep track of "corrects" and "learning opportunities".


Originally posted to the SCListserv by Dr. Ogden Lindsley Sun, 1 Mar 1998 07:23:50 EST

illustrations - Regina Claypool-Frey



"...Used in pairs, the green marker tracks hits (acceleration target/corrects), and the red  marker tracks misses (deceleration target / learning opportunities / errors). Each will track a count of 0 to  99.


It is necessary to mark both hits and misses because research has always  shown that hits and misses change independently.



Each marker has two tiers. Hanging from its loop, the top tier of white beads  marks tens. The colored middle bead in this top “tens” tier is a five -  marking 50. The bottom tier of green or red beads marks ones. The middle  bead of each bottom “ones” tier is white - marking 5.


How to use your Belt Bead Marker Pair:


Figure of miss and hit bead counters







1. Reset both markers to zero by pulling all beads in each tier up to their  top knots (belt-loop end).  You must pull one bead at a time.














Step 2 "hit"






2. Right after each hit (correct) pull a green bead down to the bottom of its tier.














bead counter "miss"






3. Right after each miss (error) pull a red bead down to the bottom of its tier.










4. Continue in this way pulling the correct color bead down for each hit or  miss.


Bead counter 10








5. When all nine “ones” beads are down in their tier, mark the next (the  tenth) by pulling all nine ones beads back up their tier, and pulling one  white “tens” bead down in the “tens” tier above.










6. At the end of your counting time (usually a day), count the number of beads  pulled down in each tier of your green hits marker, and each tier of your red  misses marker. Read the count by saying the number of beads pulled down in the upper “tens”  tier followed by the number of beads pulled down in the bottom “ones” tier.


7. Enter your hit and miss counts in your calendar book and chart them.



Wear your Belt Bead Markers by looping them on your belt or belt loops, wrapping around your shirt buttons, or pinning to other clothes. Markers can be attached to the side of a machine to count hits and misses made by a team of the machine’s workers. "



My notes on how to make a bead counter


homemade bead counter

"Our handmade version--it's not easy to describe without pictures, but if you've used a bead counter, then it's pretty easy to tell when things are going right or awry.

I used inexpensive carbiner keychains for the belt hooks and dress shoe laces for the laces (1/8" round craft cord seems to work too) and pony beads from the craft store.

Fold the shoelace in half and attach it to a caribiner with a girth hitch. Take a pony bead with the hole perpendicular to the direction of the laces, thread each lace end in opposite directions through the hole so the bead ends up with threaded laces in opposite directions. Continue the process with as many beads as you need/want.



To give it slide room, allow about 1 1/2 -2" below the last bead, and finish off with a knot."






Video on how to make a bead counter (TAGulator)




How to make a wrist abacus-style counter (Haughton 1974)

New 11/29/09 RGCF

Reference: Haughton (1974). Myriad counter, or beads that aren't for worrying. Teaching Exceptional Children, 6(3), 203-209. ERIC # EJ102678

photo of a wrist bead counter


One immediate comment is that this text, while providing construction guidance via illustration, is not a step-by-step guide with complete detail to building a wrist counter; however considerable detail is given to how one might use the beads for counting via choice of numerical base once assembled. A comment from the text is that this type of counter may be more suitable for slower movement cycles rather than those needing faster counting than bead sliding allows (clicker counter or making tally marks may be a better tool for movement cycles needing fast recording).












Construction notes:

The slides on the counter depend on pipecleaners as well as the match of pipecleaner to bead; bead too big - the beads will slip and give inaccurate counting, beads too small - difficult to feed onto pipecleaner and to move bead when counting.


Another suggestion is to use a darker/different color bead as your "starter" (or "ender" for that matter, just so long as you have a consistent system that you can easily use and remember) so that you know which side of the row of beads you started the counting on; this isn't needed in a belt-type counter because the pulls are generally "down".


Another construction note is NOT to fasten one end of the soft leather liner to the exterior leather; this is both for fit, and to allow repair or replacement of one/all of the  pipecleaner slides without having to completely deconstruct for repair or necessitating constructing an entire new wrist counter because of a broken component.


The suggested dimensions illustrated in the article are approximately 19 cm/7.5"/circumference of the wrist long for the heavy leather piece which supports the beads and pipecleaners and the soft leather liner, with a variable width of each depending on number of rows of beads - approx. 5 cm/2" for 6 rows,approx.  6 cm/2.5" for 8 rows also allowing space for a chronometer/watch. The takehome seems to be that there is some flexibility depending on how/what one wants to set up.


Remember to have 2 COLUMNS in addition to the desired number of rows so that you can count corrects in one column AND learning opportunities (non-corrects) in the other column on the SAME wrist counter.


A suggestion in the text is to have 9 beads in each row, with the beads in the next row indicating the next place value up.


Ex:  <-1. <-2, <-3, <-4, <-5, <-6, <-7, <-8, <-9 (last bead 1st row, then reset these beads)

      <-10, <-20, <-30, etc.

      <-100, <-200, ETC.





The supplies listed for the article/original wrist counter

(While not a specific recommendation, someplace like Tandy Leather Factory is an option to find leather and tools; try google for other options.)


  • Leather tools to cut and punch the leather
  • 1 large piece of good, stiff oak tanned leather (from text, about 4mm. thick)
  • 1 equally large piece of soft leather for a liner (Note is to only fasten the liner to the counter on one end.
  • 1 package of pipecleaners (it is not specified what type or brand, possibly the old fashioned standard pipecleaner)
  • 100+ beads. The note from the text ,is "Be sure you check that the beads and the pipe cleaners are compatible. Otherwise it doesn't work the first time and you have to have another try."
  • 1 piece strong leather thong. (to fasten the wrist counter onto the wrist)
  • 1 metric ruler to simplify using centimeters in precise measurement steps.




Wrist counter in cross-section and top views.


Haughton-style abacus wrist bead counter

NOTE: Only ONE ROW of beads is shown

  • thickness=4 mm about 1/6"
  • width = approx 5cm/2"
  • length = 19cm/7.5"/wrist circumference.
  • Brown is the oak-tanned leather
  • Green are the pipecleaners folded under and inwards under the oak-tanned leather.)
  • Red is the thin liner leather (only fasten at one end)
  • Gold green is the leather thong to fasten on wrist.
  • Fushia are beads
  • Turquoise is the "starter" or "ender" bead.






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