The Rekenrek is a powerful tool that will help children learn to subitize numbers. By seeing numbers as groups rather than the result of counting single units or counting on, children are able to conceptualize groups of numbers and how they can be combined to make new numbers. The beads on the Rekenrek are grouped by fives by colour, children can see number combinations easily.
Here are some videos to help you see how using the rekenrek at school is helping your child develop number sense.
Please see the links below to online rekenreks. Both games have screenshades to hide beads so that your child can figure out how many are missing. At school we relate the rekenrek to a Double Decker Bus. Some questions to ask:
How many passengers are on the top deck?
How many seats are left on the top deck?
How many passengers are on the bottom deck?
How many seats are left on the bottom deck?
How many passengers are on the bus altogether?
How many seats are left on the double decker bus altogether?
What if a person from the top came down to the bottom? How does this change things?
Remind your child to think about the beads in groups of 5 and remind them to use “Shortcuts” to figure out their answers like the girl in the story did. Your child can also create their own math facts on paper based on different bead arrangements.