This tool is more interactive than a hundred chart. It is less messy than base-ten blocks. It is faster than 10 frames and counters, and yet it compliments all of the above. It’s not that I am trying to dissuade you from using any of the above manipulatives, it’s just that I’m trying to persuade you to use the rekenrek!
What concepts can the rekenrek be used to teach?
Mental math strategies
Addition and Subtraction
Multiplication and Division
In my opinion, it is the most useful concrete tool to have in every elementary classroom – but in the hands of the children, not in a box on the shelf!
- It is visual and clear.
- It is a concrete tool.
- It is interactive and hands-on.
- It requires almost no time to distribute and put away.It is so versatile, covering many mathematical concepts.
- It is a one-time, cost-efficient purchase.
- It is mess-free (no parts to lose or replace).
- It allows for a variety of problem solving methods.
- It can help you to quickly assess children’s understanding and misconceptions.
- It encourages and simplifies math talk.
- It encourages math reasoning.
- It allows students to show their understanding.
- It can be visually be understood by all – regardless of what language you speak.
- It allows for maximum practice of the ‘no-excuse’, mental math facts.