Today We Started Using A Rekenrek

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.

Online Rekenrek

Online Rekenrek

Download The Number Rack App On iPad 

Working With A 100 Chart

It is very important to your child’s number sense development that he or she  learns to recognize patterns found on the 100 chart.  Recognizing patterns is an essential step to understanding the number system so that he or she can be successful at addition and subtraction activities. Many kids skip this stage of learning and go right to memorizing facts (2 +2=4) and this can really hinder learning for later on! Here to two games your child can play that promote this!

Interactive 100 Chart Game

100 Chart Game

Math Activities Using 5 & 10 As An Anchor

Below you will find many interactive games to help your child develop the strategy of using 5 and 10 as an anchor in math.  This skill along with seeing patterns in numbers on a 100 chart is the foundation of what higher level math skills are built on.  Children need lots of practice using and explaining or talking about how they got their answers.  

Five Frame Game

Ten Frame Game

Guess The Number

Variety Of Manipulatives and Work Mats Can Be Played With 

Base Ten Block Fun

Base Ten Blocks
(under activities choose compare in order to compare two different numbers)

Help BT Bear Catch 10 Blocks

Representing Numbers Using Base Ten Blocks

Base ten blocks are a new manipulative that has been introduced in Grade One. Children in Kindergarten are very familiar with five and ten frames but the base ten blocks are brand new. During September and October children have been exploring the base ten blocks during Guided Exploration by building with them, sorting them and by counting the sections. During the month of November we have been using the Base Ten Blocks to represent the date on the calendar. Children in grade one need to learn to represent numbers to 50 using a variety of math tools (10 Frames, Base Ten Blocks, Number Lines, Coins).

Counting on is an essential skill when using base ten blocks and practising this concept is helpful. For instance you could put one of the rods (base ten block worth 10) down and then 7 of the ones and your child would say 10 then count on to 17 by counting the ones. Counting on is essentially saying the biggest number and then counting on the rest to see how many you have altogether. Children need to develop this strategy on their own and, with lots of practice counting on in different situations, they will.

Base Ten Learning Box

Base Ten Blocks & Ten Frames (And Others)
Choose: Grade one

Backgrounds: Workmats: (Hundreds, Tens, Ones)
Manipulatives:Base Ten Blocks
*lots of other options for representing number here too

Data Management

Throughout this year the children will have lots of opportunity to explore the data management portion of the curriculum in math.  In Grade One this math strand focuses on sorting, taking surveys to gather information and using graphs to organize and explain the information gathered.  There are all kinds of ways sorting, survey questions and graphs are used in our world and your child would benefit from having these kinds of things pointed out to him/her as you come across them.  Talk to your child about what you see and what kind of information can be learned if you are looking at a graph. Authentic math experiences are always much more meaningful and help connect the learning we are doing at school to the real world.  

Sorting In The Real World:
-the utensil drawer in your kitchen
-laundry
-how clothes are put away (sorted by colour to wash but then sorted by person who owns the clothes and often sorted again by type of clothing in the room where the person’s bedroom)
-items in a store (all the fresh fruit is in one part of the store, and it is sorted by type)

Ask your child “what would happen if we didn’t use sorting in our world in these situations?”

Surveys In The Real World:
I am constantly bombarded with survey questions:
-each time I buy a new app for my phone or the school iPad they want to know if I want to rate it
-on websites they want to know information about you before you proceed
-telemarketers often call with government surveys about different things
-people stop you in the grocery store with surveys trying to sell their product
-junk mail often arrives with lengthy surveys about products I purchase at the store

Ask your child “why do you think people want to know information about what kinds of products our family uses in our home?”

Graphs In The Real World:
-the weather page in the newspaper, the weather network and the weather app on a phone are filled with graphs 

-travel books and pamphlets often graph the sunny days on a month by month basis
-magazines are full of graphs to give information in an eye catching way

Ask your child “why did the author use a graph to share the information rather than a paragraph of writing?”

Data Management Vocabulary

Here is some of the vocabulary we will be using when engaged in data management experiences.  Using these words regularly in conversation with your child at home will help him/her understand the concepts being taught more clearly.

sort: grouping items together based on at least one similar attribute
survey: a record of observations gathered
graph: a visual representation of data
pictograph:  a graph that uses pictures and symbols to represent information
concrete graph: a graph that uses real objects to represent information
data:  facts or information gathered from a survey
tally: a mark (line) that is used to collect data (a tally counts information by 5’s; four lines with one across the middle representing 5)
many/most/more: greater in amount, how many more?
less/least: smallest in amount, how many less?
few, fewer, fewest:  a smaller number of
equal: the same amount of

Websites To Visit

Here are some websites and videos to visit to help your child understand the concept of Data Management.

Graph And Tally

Graphing Bugs

Graph Game

Data Games