Many educators and mathematicians believe subitizing is an important readiness skill for later math success. This means we should be aware of what this is and how to help children and families.
Subitizing is the ability to “instantly see how many.” In other words, children can immediately see how many objects are in a set.
For more information on subitizing, watch the video below.
You can make subitizing tactile by using puffy balls or other 3 dimensional objects that children can touch and manipulate in various arrangements. See our previous blog post for more ideas http://www.maggiesbighome.com/2013/10/a-predictor-of-later-math-success.html
In addition to the ability to visually tell how many objects are in a set, children can also use auditory skills. Stomp, clap, or ring a bell and ask children to tell you what they heard. Children can even draw dots or lines to represent the number of stomps, etc.
We also encourage you to use nature to provide subitizing opportunities. When walking, point out groups of trees or flowers. Invite children to tell you “how many.” Gather children around and show them how to put fallen leaves in different arrangements and then ask a friend to tell how many leaves they see. Collecting pine cones or acorns? Have children arrange them in different ways and ask others to tell how many are seen. Children can arrange and rearrange them.
This is something you can encourage families to do at home. Soon, you will notice that children are doing this on their own!
Why not give families a definition of subitizing in your newsletter? Or better yet, give them the link to this website!
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