3-6 Math Album – The Stamp Game


Note: The process is still important, however if answers are frequently incorrect re-present.

This material is used by the children for individual work with the Decimal System, following the group exercises done with the golden bead material.


To give the child the opportunity of carrying out the four operations as individual exercises.


Small colored ’tiles’ or ‘stamps’: green with ‘1’ written on them to represent units; blue with ’10’ to represent tens; red with ‘100’ to represent hundreds; green, again, marked ‘1000’ to represent thousands.
Skittles: 1 large green, 9 of each red, blue and green representing the decimal system categories.
Some red, blue and green plastic discs to represent decimal system categories.
Squared paper, pencil and ruler.


Individual exercise.
Place the stamp game, writing materials and presentation tray (golden beads) at a table.
The teacher removes one stamp from each category and asks the child to identify the numeral.
Ask the child to align the stamps with their corresponding golden beads.
Explain that the stamps may be used, individually, for the same exercises as the golden beads.
The child returns the presentation tray to the shelf and the stamps to the box.
The number cards will no longer be necessary and instead we will write our numbers.
The teacher writes a four digit number beginning with the highest category.
The child reads and makes the quantity with the stamps.
Repeat for a few examples.
Introduce some numbers with zero.

Note: Use correct terminology with each operation.
Addition – addends, sum.
Multiplication – multiplicand, multiplier, product.
Subtraction – minuend, subtrahend, difference.
Division – dividend, divisor, quotient.
Introduce the signs used to symbolise, e.g., + for addition; – for subtraction; x for multiplication and ¸ for division.

EXERCISE 1: Static Addition
With the child’s input, write two addends which will not require carrying.
Draw a line under the addends and include a plus sign.
Point out the use of a plus sign denotes this is addition.
Read the problem with the child. The child lays out the appropriate stamps for the first addend.
Encourage the child to check by reading the quantity made with the stamps.
Place a ruler under the first addend and have the child lay out the second addend.
Remove the ruler.
Remind the child of the necessary process to find the answer – combine categories and count beginning with the units.
To combine the categories push the stamps up towards the top of the table until they form a double column per category.
Count stamps using the category name.
As each stamp is counted move it slightly toward you.
The child records the answer in the units place – below the equal line.
Have the child repeat the process for the other categories: tens, hundreds, thousands respectively.
Review the problem with the child.

Dynamic Addition Follows the same procedure except when counting, exchange the categories as necessary by removing one stamp of the next higher category from the box and replacing the ten stamps, which have been counted, into their appropriate place in the box.

Presentation & EXERCISE 2:
Multiplication With the child’s input, write a multiplicand.
The child chooses a multiplier of 2 or 3, which is written in the units column below the multiplicand.
Introduce the multiplication sign.
Read the equation with the child.
Proceed as in dynamic addition.
The child lays out the multiplicand the appropriate number of times combines the categories and counts exchanging as necessary and records the answer for each category as he counts.

After some experience use ‘0’ in the multiplicand.

Presentation & EXERCISE 3: Static Subtraction
With the child’s input, write a minuend.
Write a subtrahend which does not necessitate exchanging.
Introduce the subtraction sign. Read the problem with the child.
The child lays out the appropriate stamps for the minuend.
Beginning with the units the child takes away the necessary number of stamps and replaces them into the box.
The child counts the remaining number of units and records the answer.
He repeats this process for the remaining categories in their respective order.
Review the problem with the child.

Dynamic Subtraction Follows the same procedure except when subtracting exchange categories as necessary by replacing one stamp of the next higher category into the box and removing ten stamps of the needed category (using a ruler for spacing purposes).

Presentation & EXERCISE 4: Static Short Division
With the child’s input write a dividend as a statement and as in a process.
Introduce the division sign and read the problem with the child.
Remind the child that the skittles represent the divisor.
Set out the appropriate number of skittles horizontally.
Stack the appropriate stamps for the dividend to the left of the skittles in hierarchical order.
Review the procedure for division: we start with the highest category and we give an equal number of stamps to each skittle.
Share out the stamps underneath the skittles.
Remind the child that the answer is what one unit received.
The child counts the stamps under one skittle and records the quotient above the dividend.
Read the problem with the child.

Dynamic Short Division (No remainder)
Follows the same procedure except to exchange categories as necessary.

Dynamic Short Division (With remainder)
Follows the same procedure as dynamic short division, except to introduce ‘remainder’.
Write the remainder to the right of the quotient with a small case ‘r’ before it.
Explain that the ‘r’ is an abbreviation of remainder.


The teacher.

For each process the checking can be taught e.g., in addition one of the addends can be subtracted from the sum to find the other addend.
In subtraction the subtrahend can be added to the difference to find the minuend.
In multiplication the product can be divided by the multiplier to find the multiplicand.
In division the quotient can be multiplied by the divisor to find the dividend.


5 – 5.5 years