Storm Lake Pre-K educator Stacy Opheim’s students getting an early start on advanced math strategies with rekenek techniques. What is a rekenrek? The rekenrek is a unique tool that uses beads, like an abacus, providing a visual model of how numbers are composed. The system is becoming popular in schools as it allows children to develop number sense at their own pace. With the built-in 5 and 10 structure, rekenreks help children build number relationships that lead to more advanced strategies. In every classroom, there are students of various mathematical abilities, the job is to get them all to proficiency. You might have some children who automatically know that 7 + 8 = 15 and others who have to count out seven objects, count out eight objects, and then count them all to determine it makes 15. Many manipulative in K-2 classrooms do not help children get past the one-by-one counting and into more efficient strategies.