Subitizing

We started class today with a visual pattern. At one point I asked someone to explain how they counted five squares in the first figure. One student said “I just knew. You know, dominoes?” And I knew exactly what he meant, plus I had a word for it! The rest of the class was lost so I explained common arrangements of small numbers that some people recognize without counting, especially if they play with dice or dominoes. I was interested to find most of the class didn’t recognize six either (but the original student did). Then, just to show off, I named that process ‘subitizing’ which got my co-teacher’s attention. So I got to tell everyone it was a word I’d learned recently and I was excited about it.

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One thought on “Subitizing

  1. Cool! I, too, impressed a couple of colleagues with that word last week. It made me think of Edmund’s presentation at TMC and his poster. I don’t think he ever used the word, but that was at the core of what he was doing.

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