Introducing Bridges Breakout: Number Rack

Shelly Scheafer

The number rack helps build the bridge from counting to computational fluency by inviting students to think about numbers in groups of 2, 5, and 10. Its 2 rows of 5 red and 5 white movable beads allow students to see and slide beads in groups rather than 1 by 1. Just as we want students to move from sounding out words letter by letter to reading morphemes and whole words, we want students to move from counting 1 by 1 to counting in groups (“subitizing”). And eventually, we want them to visualize the structure of numbers and number relationships to make connections among quantities and related facts. These foundational understandings make way for developing derived fact strategies that are rooted in students’ sense-making and built on the structure of numbers.

That is why I am thrilled to announce the launch of Bridges Breakout: Number Rack. This resource, designed for working with small groups of students, provides 22 highly engaging lessons, 10 student number racks, 22 task cards, ten-frame and double-ten-frame cards, and spinners. Having used the number rack as a classroom teacher and math interventionist for over 10 years, I can attest that it’s a powerful tool for budding young mathematicians. And Bridges Breakout: Number Rack has everything you need to get started.

es Breakout: Number Rack Kit

Each Bridges Breakout: Number Rack kit includes:

A teacher-friendly “layflat” book with 22 lessons. In addition to the lessons, the book features information about the underlying pedagogy, learning goals, and more to help educators better understand just what’s happening in their students’ learning.

The Number Rack Activities Book

10 student number racks. These cardboard-and-pipe-cleaner tools contain movable beads that are just perfect for young fingers.

10 student number racks

22 task cards. Each task card provides student-facing directions on one side and teacher-friendly instructions on the other.

22 task cards

Ten-frame and double-ten-frame cards. These cards are used in a number of lessons and provide a fun way for students to engage with the model and one another. 

Ten-frame and double-ten-frame cards

Spinner Overlays. Used with several games, the spinner overlays are placed on the spinners printed on the game boards or student record sheets. Print the page, and the game is ready to play. 

Spinner Overlays

In addition, the Teacher Support page provides:

  • Downloadable student resources
  • Additional games
  • Links to the Number Rack app
  • Background and research on the number rack model
  • Trends Tool, a new resource created to help educators assess student learning

Needless to say, we are excited about Bridges Breakout: Number Rack. If you want to learn more, I’ll be co-hosting a webinar with Nicole Rigelman on November 17, 3:00 p.m. Pacific time, and all registrants will receive a link to the replay. (For those attending the NCTM Fall Virtual Conference, Nicole and Shelly will be presenting Introducing Bridges Breakout: Number Rack on November 19, 10:30 a.m. Pacific time. Check it out!)