Here are a few things about Rekenreks….
To use them…Always start with all the beads pushed over to the right. The kiddos push their answer over to the left. Then, they are able to read their answer from left to right.
So while I was in Chicago last week, my friend Kathleen wanted me to model how to use them. Now here’s the tricky part…she has a smart board! I never used one when I had my own classroom so this was an opportunity to try it out. I can’t believe it, but I made a smart board lesson for teaching the rekenrek. It was super funny to make and do. I had made the slides the night before. The next morning, My friend Kath and I each had a pen and were both trying to add the “movable” shapes at the same time, each of thinking we knew how to do it best!!! We finally got a much younger teacher who was able to show us our simple mistake and we got it all done! Then, during the lesson I used the tool to drag over the shapes and write the numerals. Can I say, I was just a little impressed with myself? It doesn’t take much, I am so challenged when it comes to technology!First I modeled how to move all the beads to the right side of their card. (Each of the children had their own card.)
In my lesson, I had made the first addition sentence using both rows, then the kiddos made the second addition sentence using both of their rows. We compared the sum on their cards to the sum on the smart board.
One teacher suggested having them do the first addition sentence on the top row and the second addition sentence on the bottom row and it would be easier for them to compare the sums! Totally makes sense! (Teachers from Kath’s school were observing while I was doing the lesson.)
The way I did it helps them to see the different equations and her way would help them see the sums…so that would be 2 different lessons!
Then, it was time for Math Centers and Small Groups. I pulled a small group to do a different rekenrek lesson---Make a 10. Here the kids in the small group each had a rekenrek.
Yeehaw! Wild About Numbers! Unit. (Not the smart board, just the small group lesson.) We practiced, conceptually a few times, then we started writing our combinations on the recording sheet.