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Rekenrek-in' It Up!

Hi, there! I don't know about the rest of you, but after about 3 days of doing "nothing productive" during the summer, I can't take it anymore! I lasted a little less than that before I started planning for next school year. I wanted to get a jump on a lot because of the fact that I will be traveling a bit during the last part of summer, so I want to be allll set when I go back to school in August.
One of the things that I am studying is our new math curriculum. We are taking much of our math instruction from ENY, and one of the hands-on manipulatives I have seen a lot in lessons are Rek-en-reks! I wanted to make myself one to use as a LARGE example. I also have the Rekenrek app on my iPad to use when I am teaching with technology. I want my students to be able to subitize well AND have strong number sense next year. This will continue to be built upon in the following grades, but why not start them off strong?!
When I was at the Dollar store the other day (because, what teacher DOESN'T shop there weekly?), I noticed they had hula hoops and pool noodles. BINGO! For 3 dollars, I could make a BIG Rekenrek to use as an example for lessons...
This is what I started with:
When I make another one, I will be using a knife for a cleaner, more precise cut. I cut each of the pool noodles into 5 3-inch pieces, opened the hula hoop, threaded the noodle onto the hula hoop, and closed the hula hoop.....
This seriously took less than 3 minutes! I have extra pool noodles, so I may go back and get one more hula hoop and see if I can cut the noodles a little more straight and even... You know how we teachers like things to be exactly so... 
Happy Thursday!!

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