# Number Sense

Wondering how to get started Teaching Subitizing? You’re in the right place!

Subitizing, or subitising, sounds complicated, but this early years numeracy concept is surprisingly straightforward and FUN to teach.

In this post, you will find our top tips for teaching subitizing to young children in preschool, pre-k, or kindergarten classrooms. You’ll also find a handy library of theme and basic subitizing teaching resources to help you teach subitizing skills like a BOSS!

## What is Subitizing?

The word Subitize originates from the Latin word meaning suddenly. So teaching children to subitize means you are teaching them to  “suddenly recognise how many in a collection without counting.” Or see how many at a glance.

Being able to subitize or instantly recognize “how many” in a small set, without counting, is an important early years numeracy skill that is the foundation of many other math concepts. This early years math skill helps children to build number sense and flexibility about the essential properties of numbers.

When you teach kids to subitize they will learn to think of a collection in component parts which will help them in the future to see that:

• Making tidy arrangements makes it easier to see how many there are in collections – (Counting Strategies)
• Any collection can be separated into parts and each part can be represented by a number ” Thinking – part-part-whole can help us see “how many” in total (Part-Part-Whole Computational Thinking)
• The same number can be thought of in parts in many different ways (Partitioning Strategy)
• A number can be thought of in more than two parts

(First Steps in Mathematics 2008).

## Types of Subitizing

The subitizing concept consists of 2 levels of developmental components; conceptual and perceptual subitizing.

• Perceptual subitizing is the ability to instantly recognise how many are in a small set, usually up to 4, 5 or 6 and usually in standard dot dice formations
• Conceptual subitizing is recognising smaller groups within a larger set and adding or combining those small groups together, such as two dots plus two dots equals four dots, or three dots and three dots makes six dots. This is usually taught using non-standard dot formations.

## Top Tips For Teaching Subitizing

The key top tip for teaching subitizing is to teach students to see the patterns of the collections in the perceptual or standard groups first. As the brain can easily subitize collections up to 5 so this is where using dice comes in!

Once students have mastered subitising 1-5 in regular formations, extend this to include non-standard formations.

From the perceptual move them onto conceptual subitizing, that’s larger collections 6-12.  To subitize larger amounts teach students how to see 2 or three smaller sets within the total collection.

A fun way to discourage students from counting the collections is to encourage your students to take a “snapshot” of the collection. Do this by showing a collection of objects for a few seconds and then invite the students to make a mental image of the set pattern or create a “snapshot”.

Once students can do this deepen their understanding and number sense by teaching them to use subitising to order groups of objects as well as use subitising to compare collections.

In summary, the best subitizing  teaching programs need to include teaching students perceptual subitizing first followed by conceptual subitizing, including teaching students to:

1. Recognise the number of items in a small collection without counting
2. Use subitising to order groups of objects
3. Use subitising to compare collections

Below you will find our subitizing resources collections, there are games, flashcards, clip cards,  playdough mats, assessment crafts, worksheets, and online games, there’s plenty to inspire you and your students. Enjoy!

## Subitising Activities

#### Subitising Dot Paper

EYFS - Foundation - Subitising - PDF

#### Subitising Uno Flashcards

EYFS - Foundation - Subitising - PDF

#### Subitising Visuals & Display Pack

EYFS - Foundation - Subitising - Zip PDF

#### Subitising Spin & Clip Wheels

EYFS - Foundation - Subitising - PDF

#### Subitising Shake & Spill 1-12

EYFS - Foundation - Subitising - PDF

EYFS - Foundation - Subitising - PDF

EYFS - Foundation - Subitising - PDF

#### Subitising Number Sorting Worksheets

EYFS - Foundation - Subitising - PDF

## More Subitising Activities

Sunflower Seeds Subitising Activities

Subitising - Sunflower Seeds

Numbers 0-20 Cutting Practice

Cutting Activities - Maths

Interactive PowerPoint Subitising Activities

Subitising PowerPoint Games

Unicorn Subitising Activities

Subitising - Unicorn Theme

Dinosaur Subitising Activities

Subitising - Dino Theme

Online Perceptual Subitizing Games 1-6

Online Perceptual Subitizing Games 1-6

Subitizing Ten Frame Spinner Game 1-6

Subitising 1-6 (ten frames)

Perceptual Subitizing 1-6 Online Games

Subitising 1-6 (dice & ten frames)

Dot Subitizing Spinner Game 1-6

Subitising 1-6 Dots

Flashcards Subitizing Game 1-6

Subitising 1-6 Dice

## Can't find what you're looking for?

Send us a request! Use this form to request a resource. Please give details of the learning area, topic, year level, curriculum links. We’ll be happy to take a look to see if we can fit it in. Unfortunately a request does not guarantee we will be able to make it!