Show these slides for a couple of seconds to practise saying how many objects there are without counting in ones.

To play:

Open slideshow.

Click once to reveal an image, click again for it to disappear.

Ask: “How many Digit Dogs can you see?”

At first learners will want to count each dog and you will need to leave the image on the screen. Practise recognising the groups of dogs and saying how many there are without having to count each one. How quickly can you do this?

Being able to look at a small set of objects (up to 5) and say how many there are without counting in ones is called subitising. Once children can count objects accurately we want them to move onto subitising, this is an important step in the development of number sense.

It is easier to subitise if objects are arranged in recognisable patterns, such as the dice dot patterns or on ten-frames. The frames are used so that learners can relate numbers to 5 and 10, an important understanding for calculation.

Perceptual subitising – instantly recognising a small group of objects, usually up to 5 or 6.

How many Digit Dogs can you see?

Conceptual subitising – seeing smaller groups of objects within a larger group to say how many there are without counting in ones. We do this when there are more than 5 or 6 objects.

I know there are 7 because I see 5 and 2 more.

I know there are 7 because I can see 4 and 3 more.

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