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How to make a Rekenrek

Last week at my conference I shared the rekenrek my husband made me and I promised to post directions.  I gave the ones he made me away as door prizes and I forgot to take a picture.  
Thankfully someone else took a picture at the conference.
There are many different versions of rekenreks that you can make.
My friend, Kim Adsit has this version that I really like but I wanted something a little taller with wider legs, so I had my husband change things up a little bit.

These are really easy to make and inexpensive!  It cost about $12.00 to make.

List of materials:
Two different colored pool noodles
2-  10" pieces of  1/2"" pvc pipe 
2 elbows
4 T joints
4 end covers

To assemble:
Cut your pipe in the sizes listed above.
Measure and cut your pool noodles.
I made mine using 1 1/2" cuts
you will need 10 of each color
NOTE: 2 pool noodles will make 3 rekenreks

If you're wondering what in the heck a rekenrek is you can download this great resource for FREE HERE!  It has tons of activities that you can use with your rekenrek.  

Enjoy the rest of your week!


  1. We use Bridges 2nd Edition by Math Learning Center as our math program. Our kit came with a beautiful large wooden Number Rack (Bridges name for a Rekenrek) We also have enough materials to make each student their own one to use. We just started using ours this week in my kindergarten class.

  2. I love this! I totally would have made this last year, because I really needed one!

  3. THANK YOU for posting this! My district bought each 1st grade classroom 6 little rekenreks and none of us knew how to teach with this tool. I had never heard of it, but I put it out with our math tools to see if any of the kids would pick it up to use it. No one did; not even to play with it! When you posted this, I was ecstatic! I even asked my husband to make the LARGE rekenrek for me to model on. I printed out the article you posted and I am going ALL out this week! :) Thank you so much--your timing was PERFECT!

  4. Yes! Most times the DIY classroom tools are the ones most used by students! Thank you for sharing the directions and free resource!
    ~Shelly Anton
    Promoting Success Blog



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