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!!


  1. Thank you
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