In my opening for math workshop I try to incorporate some kind of number sense warm up... and my students have fallen in love with SUBITIZING!
Have you done your subitizing today?
Subitizing is the ability to recognize a number WITHOUT having to count the quantity one-by-one. Yes, initially students need to learn how to count one-by-one, but don't spend too much time focusing on counting! You want students to see quantities as a SET. When students establish this skill it allows for them to visualize and hold quantities in their mind. When students can hold amounts and visualize quantities in their mind, they are then able to decompose and manipulate the numbers - building greater number sense - BINGO!
The best way to start this in the primary grades is to encourage the use of a NUMBER PATH (from Mathematically Minded). Why a NUMBER PATH you ask? Check out this great comparison of Number Paths vs. Number Lines HERE!
A favorite number path of mine would be this version which I love for introducing and finding patterns in multiplication - amidst many other uses!
Ok... back to the warm-up!
Many resources will work to get you started and your students thinking!
Create a variety of flashcards with pictures of:
10's Frames (from Oceans of First Grade Fun)
Rekenreks Set1 Set 2
(or make your own using index cards or paper plates with stickers)
General rule is to start slow with visual quantities of less then 5 - flash any visual representation & remove.
Ask students what number they saw and how they came up with that answer. Once quantities of 5 are established, you can move onto quantities of 6-10, and then onto quantities of more than 10.
Here's some additional cards to print out and use as quick warm ups
or when you have an extra 5 minutes!
Make the time! Students' number sense depends on this!
P.S. It's never too early to start! Meet 5 year old Elyse. She loves doing dot patterns with her grapes...
... well, most of the time :)
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