Subitising / Subitizing
Subitising is being able to recognise a small collection of items within an area. It is a vital skill for young students to learn and one which will hold them in good stead as they progress through the years.
I have created 7 sets of subitising cards which can be used for practice, pre-assessment, and/or final assessment. Each set has 30 cards spread across 10 pages. They will need to be cut, printed on paper/card and laminated for durability.
The sets progress from numbers 5 through to 10 and are ordered in a colour system (ROYGBIV). Red being numbers up to 5 and Indigo is numbers up to 10. The last set of violet cards are various doubles (another vital skill).
• 2x templates for your students to create their own subitising cards to play against each other. Have the students glue their paper subitising sheets to a card backing.
• A student tracking sheet so you can monitor the students progress from week to week
The aim of the activity is for subitising and doubling small numbers to become automatic for the students.
Practice is key.
How to use
- The aim for the student is to get as many correct in 1 minute as possible. Advise the student to try to not count but to trust their judgement. We want the students to trust what their eyes see and be able to automatically respond. Of course, there will be students that need to count and that’s fine. They’ll get better the more you practice with them.
• In the beginning, you’re going to have to make a judgement on what colour category your students fall in. Let’s say student ‘A’ falls in the yellow category
• Sit one on one with student ‘A’ (across from each other) and set a timer to 1 minute
• Jumble the yellow cards up and get ready to begin
• After you’ve activated the timer…. flash a card to the student for 2 seconds (then cover it) and await their response.
• As soon as they’ve answered go ahead and flash the next card… and so on
• Keep correct answers in one pile and the incorrect in another
• Tally the correct up answers after 1 minute and record their score
• When students reach approximately 15-17+ correct answers I usually move them up to the next level.
You will naturally work out a system that works best for you.
– It is amazing to observe the look on the student's faces as they calculate what they are seeing. There are so many different strategies that students use. Ask them “How did you get that so quickly?” and “Tell me what you were thinking when you saw this card?”
– Students love participating in this challenge.
Keep each set in its own envelope or plastic sleeve for easy access.
If you’ve decided to use these subitising cards
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