Monday, July 17, 2017

Rekenreks and beyond

During this past school year, we (the other Instructional Resource Specialists and our Coordinator of Mathematics and Science PreK-5) were invited to visit mathematics classrooms in the Foxborough Public School district to see their implementation of Guided Math Workshop.  We loved seeing the amounts of manipulatives and activities that were going on while teachers were working with small groups.

One of the many ideas I took out of that visit were the use of Rekenreks, especially in the younger grades.  Rekenreks are a tool to facilitate number sense in students.  The activities are endless with this one tool.  I wanted to get the staff in my building on board with using these, so for one of our Learning Teams meetings that I was facilitating with Grades K and 1, we made a set of student rekenreks.

Materials:  Cardstock, laminating sheets, hole puncher, pony beads in various colors, pipe cleaners, packing tape

I laminated pieces of cardstock and cut them into 4 rectangles.  Then, I poked holes in where the pipe cleaners would be threaded through.

To get the beads ready, each pipe cleaner needed 10 beads (2 sets of 5 in different colors).  Pipe cleaners were then threaded through the holes in the cardstock, and then secured with packing tape.

Teachers went away with a set of 10 student rekenreks from this meeting.  My goal for this coming school year is to front load the teachers with activities that can be used with the rekenreks they created.

At the beginning of the summer, I attended the Foxborough Public Schools Summer Institute and signed up for the rekenreks session to build my knowledge on this particular manipulative.  Within that session, another type of rekenrek was used, and I've already made myself a set of student ones:

My daughter, Madison, got in on the fun and threaded these beads with me!  These bead laces are made with 100 beads.  And similar to the two-row rekenreks, the activities are endless.  I'll post a list of activities for both these manipulatives soon!!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Back to Blogging... Again! And Teacher Toolboxes... and ETSY!

Summertime is here again!  Which means that I have a little bit of time to get back to blogging (three kids keep me extremely busy lately...  By October I'll have 5, 3, and 2 year olds.. yikes!)

I'ts been a tough time in our district again this year...  huge layoff numbers and lots of "blue slips" (elimination of positions) again...  and if you haven't guessed it, my position was cut again for the third year in a row.  Right now we (this time the group of Elementary IRSs were eliminated as well as two other groups) are very unsure of our position - if our position will be reinstated, or if we are all going back to the classroom.

Since I'm in the waiting game (again), I'm getting back into the mode of getting a classroom ready, just in case.  Today I took the time to make a few Teacher Toolbox Organizers and put them up on Etsy...  Here's what they look like (and the titles are linked to them in my Etsy Shop:

26 Drawer Organizer - 6 large drawers and 20 small drawers.  Blue and Green themed.

24 Drawer Organizer - 24 large drawers.  Blue and Green themed.

44 Drawer Organizer - 12 large drawers and 32 small drawers.  Pink and Purple themed.

And if you're interested, you can order an organizer and customize it to whatever color you want the labels to be and what you want the labels to say!  Use this link: Custom Teacher Toolbox Organizer

Vicky and I are starting up an Etsy shop...  It is in its very early stages...  there will be more to come once her baby boy arrives in August!  But for now, just teacher toolbox organizers!

Cousin Craft Creation - make sure you like our page!

Summer is just beginning, so there will be more to come!