DIY Rekenreks

Written by Donna Boucher

Donna has been a teacher, math instructional coach, interventionist, and curriculum coordinator. A frequent speaker at state and national conferences, she shares her love for math with a worldwide audience through her website, Math Coach’s Corner. Donna is also the co-author of Guided Math Workshop.

This post has been updated.  Click here for the new instructions for making DIY rekenrenks.

 

22 Comments

  1. Erin

    You never fail to post the most useful information in an easy-to-understand fashion – I am SO happy to be one of your followers!!!

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Thanks, Erin! I started making them and I thought, “Might as well take pictures of the steps.” I knew that would help me, so I thought it would probably help others. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Carol

    I started using Rekenreks last year and loved them! We made them using plastic mesh canvas, pipe cleaners and pony beads. Here’s a link: Rekenrek
    We used them for subitizing, combinations, addition and subtraction, and story problems. The kids thought they were great and loved saying “Rekenrek!”
    Carol
    Still Teaching After All These Years

    Reply
  3. Anonymous

    where did you find the packs of chipboard?

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      I could not find them in town (I visited several different craft stores), so I ordered mine online. The materials list in the post has links to buy each of the materials.

      Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Thanks, Erika! I still need to finish up my class set, but they go pretty quick.

      Reply
  4. Debbie Riney

    Looks like my Pre-K could use a set of these! Wow…not really hard to make at all or at least you made it look that way!
    Thanks! Deebi272/Debbie/Deebi27 (Thanks to Google :o(

    PS I have you coming in MY email…can’t wait to see what else I can create for my classroom!

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      No, not hard at all. I wasn’t sure how easy it was going to be to cut the chipboard, but it cuts easily. For pre-K, you could start with only one strand, so you’re just showing 10. You could add the other strand after they become more comfortable with 10.

      Reply
  5. Donna, Clay, WV

    Thanks for sharing your directions and photos….Do you have any thoughts on materials that would work well to make a larger versiion, for demonstration purposes? I am thinking about magnetic curtain rods, but any ideas about the “beads” would be appreciated. Ping Pong balls? Really big wooden beads with larger holes drilled out? Christmas ornaments? A colleague suggested cutting those foam swimming pool Noodles into slices, but I don’t think that would slide easily enough….Thanks !!!

    Reply
    • Donna, Clay WV

      HHHmmmm, never thought about that. Styrofoam would be easy to make large holes in. And I guess some type of craft paint would work. Thanks !! I’ll let you know how things turn out !!!!

      Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Maybe you could find bigger wooden beads with holes already in them. What about styrofoam balls?

      Reply
  6. The Mathematical Chic

    Hi there!

    I was curious – how many rekenreks were you able to make with the materials listed about? 🙂

    Thank you!:)

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      A class set of 25, with lots of beads left over! The chipboard is a package of 25.

      Reply
  7. Rick Ludeman

    Donna,
    Thanks for mentioning our free activity book. The Math Learning Center now offers a DIY Rekenrek kit (we use the term Number Rack) that includes all the supplies you need to build 10. Rick

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Thanks, Rick! Teachers love DIY!

      Reply
  8. Joanne

    Hi Donna! I’m about to make rekenreks for my K class to use this year. I was looking for your second post on how to make them, but it doesn’t come up. Do you still use pipe cleaners in your new and improved version? I know the kids are supposed to be able to slide a specific number of beads instead of counting each one. I’m wondering if I put them on a pipe cleaner are they going to be able to slide them easily? Any advice is welcomed! Thank you so much!!

    Reply
    • Joanne

      I mixed my personal email and school one so its WRONG!! Lol it’s [email protected]

      Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Yes, they slide perfectly on the pipe cleaners! Here’s the post.

      Reply

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