Sunday, July 31, 2011


At my school this past year we were learning about Singapore Math and Math Solutions. One of the tools they use in Math Solutions is called a rekenrek.  A rekenrek is a counting tool.  Some of you probably already know what these are but I had never heard of them until last year. Click on this link to find out more about rekenreks. To purchase rekenreks for each child in my class would cost way too much so I decided to make my own.  A very resourceful teacher at my school made her own, and they are great, so I wanted to make some for my room.  So a friend and I went to Lowe's and bought a sheet of panel board (it is dark brown and smooth) and we had them cut it for us.  We decided to make two different kinds of rekenreks; one for the beginning of the year with only one line of ten beads and one for the second half of the year with two lines of ten beads. So some of the rekenreks are 3" x 12" and some are 6" x 15".  Lowe's would only cut the board into one foot sections so my dad cut them smaller for me (so nice!!).  He also drilled the holes where the plastic lacing goes. I then went to Michael's and got a large roll of clear plastic lacing and a bag of red pony beads and a bag of white pony beads.  Yesterday I sat and put together 25 small boards and 5 large boards.  My fingers were killing me, I guess from tying all the laces, so I had to stop.  Here is what they look like finished.

There are several online resources with ideas on how to use the rekenreks in your classroom.  Here are a few:


  1. OMG... I have a new room this year and I found these in there... I thought to myself... ingenious! Thanks for posting this... it all makes sense now!

    Empowering Little Learners!

  2. Hello! I'm Jami from The Math Learning Center. Thanks for linking to our free rekenrek workbook. It's a great resource! (well, we think so anyway :-) We recently started offering a kit of materials to make your own student number racks. The kit contains all of the materials you need to make 10 student number racks. You can check it here:

    We also have a free number rack app:

    Let me know if you have questions. Thanks!
    mlcsocial (at)

  3. How did you tie the plastic lacing? Doesn't it come loose?

  4. Hi Kim, at first I thought that it would come loose too but I just tied it really tight and I have not had one come undone yet. Sorry, I don't really have a magic trick just luck I guess.


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