My students need individual rekenreks to help build early number sense! This will help them with core mathematical and financial ideas such as counting and comparing quantities.
Our school is full of amazing, intelligent, hard-working students. We have around 650 Kindergarten through 5th-grade students ranging with very diverse backgrounds including 4 main languages spoken: English, Spanish, Marshallese, and Karin. We are a transient school, meaning many of our students move schools frequently and we have a highly migrant population. Our school population is around 70% English Language Learners and roughly 80% qualify for free or reduced lunch.
Because of our highly mobile population, many of our students have "gaps" in their educational background stemming from moving schools multiple times over their brief elementary years.
We are trying to give our students the best educational opportunity from the first day of Kindergarten. To do this, especially with our high number of English Language Learners, we need materials that will support this early mathematical learning without using numbers or words. Our kindergartners need ways to explore mathematical and economic concepts using visual manipulatives. In order to be good mathematical stewards, our students need to master the skills of counting and counting their resources, comparing who has more or less, making them better decision makers as they go throughout their elementary career.
Our English Language Learners are starting kindergarten with a language disadvantage. To ensure that we even the "playing field"", we need to give students as much visual mathematical representation as we start introducing concepts. Rekenreks, also called Math Racks, were developed to help build the 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 beads, with five beads of one color and five beads of another color to help the 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 way to develop early mathematical and financial literacy and are a hands-on, concrete way to illustrate their math thinking, concepts of quantity, and how to build numbers.
From exploring strategies for counting, comparing quantities and being able to discuss the language of "how much more" and "how much smaller", these skills are all addressed with rekenreks.
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. 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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|Individual Student Rekenrek 20 Count Frame • Nasco||$3.75||46||$172.50|
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