This project will serve a group of elementary aged students who are destined to have huge impacts on the world. Although 80% of them live in poverty, and more than 60% are English language learners, they are hard workers who only wish to achieve, and one day leave their footprint on the world. Many of these young boys and girls are overcoming the language barriers of learning a second language, many of whom are separated from their families who live thousands of miles away. Some live just down the street, but need and deserve the enrichment that real-world projects can provide.
Rekenreks are essential to developing that early foundation of number sense. They help students reason about numbers, subitize, build fluency, visually compare numbers, and compute using number relationships. Each rekenrek has two rows of stringed beds, with five beads of one color and five beads of another color to help student visualize the combinations of numbers to equal a larger number. This helps develop the visual images of different number combinations and giving them a spatial arrangement to attach to those numbers. It also helps develop number flexibility since they are using tactile resources to develop multiple ways to compose a number.
Rekenreks offer students a hands-on, concrete way to illustrate their math thinking and build numbers.
From exploring strategies for composing and decomposing numbers, to establishing the primary benchmarks of 5, 10, and 20, to a hands-on way to teach part-part-whole.
Having students manipulate beads to compare numbers helps students develop hands on experiences of number sense. They can also visualize combinations of numbers that may be bigger or smaller than others and manipulate what happens when we take away and add to, really developing those early economic concepts. In order to be good financial stewards, our kids need to master these counting skills! It will help them be better decision makers as they are given more opportunities to make their own choices. These tools will prepare our students to dictate their thinking on paper using words and numbers as they develop both literacy and mathematics skills.
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