The Number Rack

Jami Smith

The Number Rack facilitates the natural development of children’s number sense. Rows of moveable, colored beads encourage learners to think in groups of fives and tens, helping them to explore and discover a variety of addition and subtraction strategies.

The Number Rack

The Number Rack is featured extensively throughout Bridges in Mathematics in grades K–3. We’ve compiled a collection of resources to support the use of the number rack in the classroom and we’d like to share it with you! The resources include our free Number Rack app , a free Rekenrek lesson book and instructions for building your own student Number Racks. The Math Learning Center also sells kits containing all of the materials needed to build 10 student Number Racks.

Should you have a flair for DIY, there are many resources on the internet! These inventive teachers have created their own Number Racks using materials found at any local big box store.

Mrs. T’s First Grade Blog has great resources on how to make your own Number Racks using wood and string. This post includes videos of activities you can do with the Number Rack. 

Dilly Dabbles features some helpful tips on using rekenreks with your students as well as a free recording page for download. 

K–5 Math Teaching Resources has some great examples of student work! 

We hope you’ll take advantage of this powerful visual model and give the Number Rack a try with your students. Please let us know if you have any questions!

Jami Smith is a graphic designer and social media manager for The Math Learning Center.