Looking for new rekenrek activity ideas? Try voting with a rekenrek chart. In this video, we see a rekenrek chart used to solve a dilemma common to early childhood classrooms: choosing between two favorite books at story time. When a quick vote is called for, the rekenrek chart is a handy tool. The structure of this mathematical pocket chart is like that of a rekenrek, an arithmetic rack with red and white beads. Here, children recognize the same rows of ten, composed of 5 red and 5 white pockets in each row. This 5- and 10-structure helps children see the smaller quantities within a larger number—perfect for voting and making comparisons.
Watch as the children place a popsicle stick into red pockets on the left or the white pockets on the right of the rekenrek chart to indicate the book they would most like to hear. Efficient and fair, this voting activity settles the question of what to read while building number sense. Notice how quickly children can compare the quantities of votes when they are visually organized and structured!
Want to make your own rekrenrek chart? Or just need more information about how to use one? See additional rekenrek information below. Read about how to use your chart for a mathematically-powerful attendance routine here along with other rekenrek activity ideas.
DIY Rekenrek Ideas for Home and School
One thing we love is the rekenrek. To encourage teachers and other adults to use them, it’s important to not only go over ways to use a rekenrek, but also we thought we would make sure everyone has opportunities to have them, whatever the budget.
How to Use a Rekenrek
New to using rekenreks? Its deceivingly simple design — two rows of ten beads, five red and five white — leaves some wondering how to use it. Here is a detailed video demonstrating how to use one with children.