Friday, January 25, 2013

Kids Create Subitizing Cards

My sweet kinders love to subitize. In case you're unfamiliar with subitizing, look at some of my past blog posts. Basically, we're working on developing number sense through instant recognition of quantities. I downloaded a free set of subitizing cards that have a variety of dot combinations. For example, if I flash them (just for a moment) this card:

...and ask them "how many?" they may say "7, because I saw a 4 and a 3 and that makes 7." Or they might say "I saw a 2 and a 2 and a 3 and I counted them [in my head] and that makes 7."

Today we switched things up a bit. Imagine their delight when I told them they were going to make their own subitizing cards! Here's how:

1. I gave each child a 5"x8" index card with a line penciled lightly down the center. I asked them to find the LEFT side. A student suggested that they lay a Cuisenaire Rod on that side to help them remember. 
    2. I told them that they were going to make quantities with dot stickers. (Dot markers would also have been fabulous.)

    • Use two colors.
    • Build any number from 4-7 (later I added 8.)
    They then placed dots on the left side of their index cards.
      3. Each child practiced writing his number on an individual whiteboard and showed me before writing the number on the right hand side of the card in his BEST handwriting. (This prevented a few backward numbers and a few dot miscounts.)

      4. When the cards were done, we tried flashing their cards to a grandma who came to pick up her grandson. The kids were SO PROUD when they flashed the dots on the left and Grandma was able to figure out the number, hidden on the right side of their cards! We'll continue to use the kid-produced cards, making more with higher quantities.

      This was a huge success for us! Hope you enjoy it. (I'd love to hear about how it goes with your kids!)


      1. The children look so engaged. I may have to try that with my students.
        Thanks for the idea.

        1. You are so welcome! I'd love to know how it goes with your kiddos!

      2. I love the subitizing cards made by your kindergarten students. Please let them know I am going to share the picture of their cards with some of the kindergarten teachers and students I work with in Bend, Oregon.

        1. Shelly, I'll tell them. They'll LOVE that! :)

      3. What a great idea to have the kids make them! I've shared my cards with a Kindy teacher friend to use in her classroom but I think I'll have the kids I tutor make them too!

      4. Love it... Just learned that "big" word today. Can't wait to work with class on subitizing!

      5. Thanks for linking up - love it! :)


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