Math is (unfortunately) commonly known as a boy thing. With only one wonderful girl in my house (she has 3 brothers), I have vowed to make math a "princess thing." One activity I made especially for my princess are these wonderful Princess Subitizing Cards. Subitizing is basically the ability to instantly recognize how many in a set without having to count. (For a little more detail about subitizing and some great apps, check out the post Subitizing - A quick way to develop number sense.) The subitizing cards I made can be used in a variety of ways, but here is my princess playing against me with her favorite game, Combat:
Use the cards like flash cards by flashing a card for a few seconds and then put the card down so the kids cannot see it anymore. At first you may need to leave the card
visible for longer to allow children to count. But remember, the goal is to get children to tell how many without counting. So start doing it faster and encouraging them
to visualize what was flashed after you hide the card.
Can you find it?
Grab two cards that show each number 1-10 (since there is only one card for the 1 and 2 you need to include the ten frame card for 1 and 2 or print an extra of that page
so that you have a couple 1 and 2 cards). Place the cards face down randomly in a 4x5 array. For each child’s turn they flip over two cards. If the cards show the same
amount they get to keep those two cards. If not, they flip the cards back over and the next child gets a turn.
Which is More?
Flip over two cards and then ask, “Which card has more?” Once children get better at subitizing you can flash two cards for a few seconds and then hide them before
you ask “Which card had more?”
Which is Less?
Flip over two cards and then ask, “Which card has less/fewer?” Once children get better at subitizing you can flash two cards for a few seconds and then hide them
before you ask “Which card had less/fewer?”
Which of these is not like the other?
Lay out three cards (two of which have the same amount) and ask the children to find the card that does not have the same amount as the other two.
Flash a card and then have the children recreate the amount. You can have them draw it, use a stamp to stamp the pattern, or even show how many by placing objects in
an empty ten frame.
Make it More/Less
Like the “make it” activity, but instead of making the same amount that you flashed tell them to “Make it More than the amount on my card” or “Make it Less than the
amount on my card.”
Two children take the entire deck of subitizing cards and deal them out face down between the two of them, so that each child has an equal amount in a pile. At the same
time, each child flips over their top card. The child with the larger amount on their card gets to take both cards. If they flip over cards with the same amount, they each
flip over another card to see who has the larger amount and then that player would take all the cards flipped over. Play continues until one player gets all the cards.
Played like Combat (above) but instead of flipping over only one card, each player flips over two cards and then adds the amount on the two cards. The child with the
larger total on their cards gets to take all four cards. If they flip over cards that total the same amount, they each flip over another two cards to see who has the larger
total and then that player would take all the cards flipped over. Play continues until one player gets all the cards.