Monday, June 23, 2014

DIY Rekenreks

Hi, friends!  I'm here today to share with you how my team made our dry erase rekenrek boards!  Let me just tell you all about my team's wonderful experience with making rekenreks!  It was one of those fun make and take days where the humor was flowing!  Here is a little preview of our completed boards in action!

Rekenreks are one our favorite math manipulatives to help build number sense in Kindergarten!  Come check out how we made over 200 DIY dry erase rekenreks in only one day!  Don’t forget to grab our rekenreks FREEBIE, which is the perfect complement to any of your rekenrek activities!

It all started with a video clip we watched from the Number Talks book that I blogged about last week (see the original post).  After watching this video my team was super motivated to make a classroom set of rekenreks for each kindergarten classroom!

First, we had to devise a plan!  We googled, we searched, and we binged images!  None of the boards were dry erase, but we added this option to our plan.  Once we figured out what we wanted our boards to look like, we needed to gather our materials.  We thought about using just regular dry erase boards and drilling holes, which you could totally do.  However, this method was going to be a little too costly for over 200 boards.  Then, I remembered a third grade teacher whom I completed my TE 100 hours with who had used shower board to cover her old chalkboard.  BINGO!  I quickly went to the Home Depot website and found exactly what we were looking for -- Thrifty White 32 sq. ft. Hardboard Panel Board!  Our PTO was kind enough to purchase the boards for us!  Thank you PTO!

Since our boards were white, we decided to use red and blue pony beads.  We wanted colors that would stand out against the white.  We purchased our blue and red pony beads from School Specialty.  For the teacher boards, we purchased 20 mm wooden beads from Joann's, and my loving husband spray painted them red and blue for my entire team!

Rekenreks are one our favorite math manipulatives to help build number sense in Kindergarten!  Come check out how we made over 200 DIY dry erase rekenreks in only one day!  Don’t forget to grab our rekenreks FREEBIE, which is the perfect complement to any of your rekenrek activities!The most difficult part of the plan was determining what type of material to string the beads on -- rope, pipe cleaners, etc.  We would have like to use pipe cleaners, mostly because of their ability to hold the beads in place, but we couldn't find pipe cleaners that would be long enough to string across the boards and then twist in the back.  After searching high and low for something to use and basically having only one day left until the big make and take day, I went to Home Depot hoping to find something that would work!  I spoke with two nice gentlemen who could sense my pain, especially once I told them how many feet of rope I would need!  I brought some of the pony beads along just to make sure they would slide over the rope.  You will for sure want to do this!  We found that our pony beads were a little larger than some of the ones from other craft stores, so the 1/8" diameter rope worked out perfectly.

Rekenreks are one our favorite math manipulatives to help build number sense in Kindergarten!  Come check out how we made over 200 DIY dry erase rekenreks in only one day!  Don’t forget to grab our rekenreks FREEBIE, which is the perfect complement to any of your rekenrek activities!The next part was tough!  How in the world were we going to cut and drill all these boards?!?!  We thought about asking one of our kind husbands, but decided that might be too much of an undertaking for one person.  After all, we did need 210 boards, plus 8 teacher boards.  That's a whole lot of cutting and drilling!  Here's when we contacted the high school teacher who teaches wood shop and a few other trades courses.  We very politely asked if his students would be willing to help us out -- a class project for them, if you will!

Rekenreks are one our favorite math manipulatives to help build number sense in Kindergarten!  Come check out how we made over 200 DIY dry erase rekenreks in only one day!  Don’t forget to grab our rekenreks FREEBIE, which is the perfect complement to any of your rekenrek activities!

Now, here we were with all of our cut and drilled boards!  What next?!?!

Step 1:  Prevent the rope from fraying!  We ran into a bit a of a snag with the rope.  Once we cut it and tried to string the beads, the rope began to fray....SO we decided to melt the ends.

Rekenreks are one our favorite math manipulatives to help build number sense in Kindergarten!  Come check out how we made over 200 DIY dry erase rekenreks in only one day!  Don’t forget to grab our rekenreks FREEBIE, which is the perfect complement to any of your rekenrek activities!
Step 2:  Pinch the end of the melted rope!  This prevented the end of the rope from becoming too fat for the beads to fit over.  Notice my nice working glove!

Rekenreks are one our favorite math manipulatives to help build number sense in Kindergarten!  Come check out how we made over 200 DIY dry erase rekenreks in only one day!  Don’t forget to grab our rekenreks FREEBIE, which is the perfect complement to any of your rekenrek activities!
Step 3:  String the beads!  We used five red and five blue beads, but you could easily use whichever color you prefer.

Rekenreks are one our favorite math manipulatives to help build number sense in Kindergarten!  Come check out how we made over 200 DIY dry erase rekenreks in only one day!  Don’t forget to grab our rekenreks FREEBIE, which is the perfect complement to any of your rekenrek activities!
Step 4:  Tie the beads onto your board!  For this step, we just tied the rope in a knot.  It seems to be working for now, but I wonder if the knot will loosen over time and the rope will begin to sag.  This will drive me BUNKERS, in which case I will squeeze a little glue into the knot.  Any suggestions on how I can prevent the knot from loosening overtime?

Rekenreks are one our favorite math manipulatives to help build number sense in Kindergarten!  Come check out how we made over 200 DIY dry erase rekenreks in only one day!  Don’t forget to grab our rekenreks FREEBIE, which is the perfect complement to any of your rekenrek activities!

Well, there you have it folks -- step by step directions on how to make your very own dry erase rekenrek boards!  It certainly wasn't an easy task, but totally worth all the agony and effort!  Don't forget to grab my rekenrek FREEBIE from last week's post!

Rekenreks are one our favorite math manipulatives to help build number sense in Kindergarten!  Come check out how we made over 200 DIY dry erase rekenreks in only one day!  Don’t forget to grab our rekenreks FREEBIE, which is the perfect complement to any of your rekenrek activities!

And don't forget to link back to Tara's Monday Made It post to check out more creativity in action!

http://4thgradefrolics.blogspot.com/2014/06/monday-made-it-summer-week-4.html

You can also check out more number sense ideas on my "Number Sense" Pinterest board!


Now, I have a few questions for you!  Would you use something other than rope for stringing the beads?  How would you prevent the knot from loosening?  Would you flip the colors in each row like we did (5 blue and 5 red on the top and then 5 red and 5 blue on the bottom)?

13 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! My team loves them too! I just hope the rope doesn't loosen and start to sag!

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  2. I love these!
    I like that you flipped the beads. I think it gives them a good visual. Great job! :)

    Rachel

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    1. Thanks, Rachel! That was what we thought too -- that they would be able to visualize that 5 and 5 make ten a little easier with the colors flipped.

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  3. This is awesome! I am going to share it with the other teachers at my school! I am going to look into making these for multiplication problems! Thanks for the idea!

    Kerry
    FlipFloppingToSchool

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    Replies
    1. Awesome idea, Kerry! I never thought of multiplication, but I teach kindergarten. Let me know how they turn out!

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  4. I might have to do this for my little one! Thanks for the idea!

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  5. Replies
    1. Thank you, Sarah! I hope they last for years, and by years, I mean FOREVER!

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  6. What a great idea to help enhance Number Talks! I do NT's with my 5th graders, and they love coming up with different solutions. I love how you tailored this for your younger kids. Hope you can stop by my blog sometime.

    Mel
    The Teaching Crew

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Mel! I will have to pop over and check it out!

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  7. Did the rope sag? What about tying them tight and putting super glue on the knot?

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