Liam has been working with the Montessori bank exercise. It works in much the same way as a customer and teller transaction.
The teacher hands Liam a wooden nameplate “check” with the numerical value painted on it as 2,000. Liam then brings back 2 large bead blocks of 1,000 each and says, “Here are 2 thousands.” They then move on to different quantities of numbers in the hundreds, tens, and units to compose a four digit number with its corresponding number of beads.
You can see this part of the work on the rug closest to Liam. Each of the painted “checks” are stacked (one on the other) and slid so that what is visible at the end of the exercise is the number 2,895 – not the component plates: 2,000 / 800 / 90 / 5.