Dot pattern flashes are a quick and easy activity that can help students learn to quickly recognize quantities through subitizing. Subitizing means to recognize a number without needing to count.
Through dot patterns, students can recognize whole numbers, as well as a number as a composite of two smaller numbers. This has helped my students to learn math facts and fact families.
I use dot patterns in conjunction with ten frame and domino flashes. These activities have helped my students who struggle to compare quantities of numbers as well as those who have difficulty learning math facts. They start to see relationships between numbers and the facts that comprise these numbers.
Ways to Use Dot Pattern Flash Slides
Use as a whole group activity at the beginning of a math lesson or as a brain break. Show a slide for 3 seconds, then ask students to describe what they saw. You can flash them on a projector or print slides and hold them up.
Print cards and choose two representations of each number. Have students play concentration, trying to match numbers.
Print flashes and have students use to play Go Fish.
Print cards and use to play Top-It/War.
Have students use cards to help solve number sentences. For example, have students use a 5 card and a 3 card to add 5+3.
Give students counters and show the flash for 3 seconds, then have students make the pattern with the counters.
Instead of identifying how many dots are showing, students tell/show:
The double plus one more?
How many more does it take to make 10?
I hope you experience as much success with this activity as I have!