Subitizing in the Primary Classroom

Subitizing is such an important skill for early learners to master, and the best part is that the students also enjoy learning it!  Subitizing is being able to quickly identify the amount of objects in a group without counting.  Subitizing can be practiced by using real-life objects, or symbols, such a dots, on paper.  
When students roll a dice and know the number rolled without having to count the dots, they are subitizing!

Here are a few ways we subitize in my Kindergarten classroom:

Subitizing War

My students love playing the classic card game of "War" so I made a Subitizing War that they can play during Math Centers!
To play, divide the stack of cards between two students.  Students will turn over one card each and whoever has the highest number represented on their cards gets to keep both cards.  Whoever has the most cards at the end of the game wins! 
Subitizing War to practice number sense
You can find this in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store!

Check out this awesome video Jessica, from Learning With Littles made using my Subitizing War cards.  She shows how to play the game and also gives other ideas of how to use the cards to build number sense!

Subitizing Sort

To introduce numbers 0-10, we have been using this Subitizing Sort in the pocket chart so the kids can see the numbers represented in different ways.
You can also grab this one in my TpT store!
Subitizing Sort: Introduce or review numbers 0-10 with different representations of the numbers

Subitizing Sort: Introduce or review numbers 0-10 with different representations of the numbers

Quick Images

Quick Images are another fun way to increase number sense, practice subitizing, and increase memory.
The teacher holds displays a dot card for a couple of seconds while the students study it.  Remove the card while students recreate the dot pattern on their desks with manipulatives, then show the card again so they can check their work.  
Quick Images for Number Sense
You can also find this in my TPT store, or check out this blog post to see exactly how I use the printable and projectile versions of this activity in my classroom.


My class also loves to watch all of Jack Hartmann's videos on subitizing.  Here is just one that we love, but they are all available on YouTube! (Along with many more of his awesome videos!)

Ready for a FREEBIE!?!  

Here is a set of subitizing cards I made to use whole group with my class while working on number sense.  These cards have different dot representations for the numbers 0-10.  I simply hold a card up and the kids show me the number using their fingers held up in front of them. (Or sometimes we just yell out the answer!)

Subitizing Freebie to practice number sense
Click on the image for your free copy.

How do you practice subitizing in your classroom?