Subitizing?! What in the world is that?
The term subitizing means "to see suddenly". It's a skill that all humans are born with according to Dehaene's 2003 research. In fact, infants as young as five months already show a sense of automatic recognition of quantities up to approximately four, despite not yet knowing the names for those quantities (Blakemore and Frith, 2005).
By organizing quantities beyond four into dice patterns, students can begin to develop automaticity in identifying numbers larger than four. For example, if shown a disorganized pile of eight items, you might need to count them or identify groups of smaller quantities and add them together; however, if shown a domino pattern of eight, the quantity can automatically be determined at a glance. The term for identifying larger number quantities as being composed of smaller units is conceptual subitizing (Clements, 1999).
These playing cards feature conceptual subitizing!
52 cards have been organized to feature the following number representations:
- Word and number form
- Tally marks
- Dot patterns
- Dice patterns
Using conceptual subitizing in our deck of cards provides a linkage between language and quantity in the brain and aids in automaticity in working with numbers (Clements, 1999). For example, if I see a dice pattern of two plus another dice pattern of four, I can see that the two patterns together create a dice pattern of six. When students can see the patterns within quantity, they will realize that they can identify quantities without having to count each item one by one. This linkage of quantity and verbal information will help the brain remember math facts, and the visual offers another pathway for retrieval for our students with dyslexia who struggle with word retrieval which frees up working memory!
Features of Subitizing Cards
- These cards do not include numbers in the upper and lower corners. This is intentional! Our goal is to have the student focus on the patterns seen on the cards themselves to practice seeing numbers suddenly.
- Notice that we have red and blue card face backgrounds. This allows you to extend the use of these cards with games. Red cards could be used to indicate subtraction or a negative number.
- 52 cards + 2 Wilds
- Dimensions: 2.2" x 3.43" (55.9mm x 87.1mm)
- Linen Finish
Need International Shipping Options?
Purchase from Make Playing Cards (a third-party printing company) that ships globally. See subitizing cards here.