The Rekenrek

The Rekenrek (wreck in wreck) 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

Writing Anchor Charts

Below are copies of the anchor charts we have been making to help us with our writing.  There are copies posted in the room and the children each have their own copies for their work folder.  If your child is attempting to spell a word at home you may want to refer to these anchor charts.

For example:

Child: “Dad, how do I write chips?”
Dad: “Well chips has a /ch/ sound at the beginning like cheese on your anchor chart so let’s take a look.”
(Look for the /ch/ sound together)

We want the children to use the anchor pictures to help them remember sounds/spelling patterns in other words that they write.  As your child matures and reads many more books over the next year, he or she will start to be more accurate in spelling new words.  The “tricky rules”in the English language will be talked about as they come up but for now these anchor charts will help your child along.

Blends Anchor Chart

Digraphs, Diphthongs & Bossy R Anchor Chart

A New Word: Schema

During January we learned a new word – Schema is everything that we already know. It’s our life experiences, including all the books we have ever read and everything we have learned through our five senses. We have learned that our parents and our teachers schemas hold much more than our Grade 1 schemas do. Whenever we learn anything new it is important to use our schemas to think about what we already know and use these experiences to better our understanding of what we are learning. Because experiences are so important for helping children make connections between what they know and what they are learning we encourage your family to regularly enjoy rich experiences together.

In Literacy, we have been exploring how expert readers read and think at the same time in order to learn new information. In Grade 1 we call this making connections. We make connections to a text to help us better understand what we are reading. We have learned that in order to be successful in making connections, we need to:
– look at the cover of the story, read the title, and think about what you already know
–  use our experiences to help us understand the character and the story

Children at this age easily make connections between things they hear in the story and themselves, but we are focusing on making more meaningful connections by making sure that the connections helps us understand the story and is not just a statement about themselves.

At night, when reading to child:

  • ask them to share their connections (be sure to ask how they felt, why they did what they did, etc. which helps them try to understand how the character might be feeling or why they are acting the way they are, etc.)