Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Make your own Rekenrek, new Voki!

Have you heard? Rekenreks are a great math tool to use in the elementary classroom! Created in Holland (I believe), Rekenreks help students to visually see and generate a variety of addition and subtraction strategies.
Being the cheap, dollar store loving person I am…I thought “Hey! I can make that!” After some checking for a Pin I had pinned long ago on Pinterest, I found Jill’s 100 bead version.
I decided to make a class set of 20 bead Rekenreks to help support my grade ones with their adding and subtracting strategies. We need to know adding up to 20 in Grade One so this fits perfectly!
I bought some black desk organizers like Jill’s, except mine were the skinny ones for pens, pencils, etc. I used white pipe cleaners to give it some contrast against the black and found some pony beads stashed on my shelf!
My awesome volunteer class mom strung 10 beads on each pipe cleaner and then twisted them tight around the holes at the end. Easy Peasy!
Here are some great resource guides about Rekenreks to get you started!
Using the Rekenrek as a visual model for strategic reasoning in mathematics
Rekenrek Activities

I wrote in a post a while ago about the site Voki and shared one I had made for my class. Well…I made another and they went BANANAS!
This time the 5 senses cat was in our classroom! One of the great features on Voki is that you get to choose the background of your character. You can also add in your OWN background. Bam! In comes the background of our carpet area in our classroom! Holy Moly…you would have thought I showed a picture of Disneyland and said we were all going there! They saw that and then came the questions…How did he get in our classroom? Where is he? OMG he’s by the rocking chair! Was he here yesterday? WHERE IS HE RIGHT NOW?

I then turned it on for them and told them to listen. I had planned this very carefully. One of the kids names you will here in the Voki is Justin. I can always count on him to raise his hand. So I stopped the recording after the cat asked the question “Who can name any parts of the nose?” I KNEW Justin would raise his hand and he did. I let him answer and then turned the recording back on. Let me tell you..when that cat said his name the class went bonkers. Everyone started shouting and yelling at the cat! Hands were flying everywhere!Everyone wanted to answer!!! Kids who never raised their hand were jumping off the carpet to hear the cat say their name!

Talk about engagement people. I had them hooked.

Ignore the corny sounding voice…I swear I don`t always talk like that.
Its FREE too! Go make your own and have your kids dying to be the one called on! Click HERE to go to the Voki site!


  1. I love it!!!!!! I wish I could have seen the kids' reactions! I want to do this so bad now! Amazing post!

  2. Rekenreks are an awesome tool. Yours are pretty clever!

    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers Blog Designs

  3. I cant wait to start using them!


  4. Love your Rekenreks! Thanks so much for sharing!

    Elementary My Dear


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