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This post has been co-written with Ben Wolfson, a full-time educator and assistant principal in the USA.
Subitizing is one of the most tricky number sense concepts in early mathematics, but these mitten subitizing mats make teaching the concept fun! Each one has multiple representations of the numbers 1 to 10 which helps students quickly and easily identify different forms of each number. There are so many different ways to teach using this subitizing game making it a print and keep activity for years to come.
What is Subitizing?
Put simply, subitizing is the ability for students to group together objects and immediately know what number they represent without having to count them one by one. Think about knowing instinctively that a person’s fully stretched out hand represents five, or how you know the series of dots on a dice represents each number without having to count them. It’s one of the essential number sense concepts taught to students starting in preschool and continues to be revisited up to second grade, and it will help students get ready for multiplication and division by larger numbers.
Preparing Your Mitten Subitizing Game
Making Math Fun With This Subitizing Game
These mitten subitizing mats are easy to use without any planning. Simply print off a set and hand one to each student. Their task is to find all the subitized matches for the number shown in the flashlight: for example, if the number is 5, they have to find (with a marker or a token) all the images that show 5 of something). However all math is more fun when you gamify it, so try some of these subitizing games:
Head to head race – for some students, competing against others is a fun way to improve their speed and accuracy. If you have students who benefit from competition, have them take a copy of the same subitizing mat and turn it over at the same time. They then race to find all the matches before the other person. You can also set a time limit (1 minute will be more than sufficient) and then have students check each other’s answers for accuracy.
Odd ones out – for a non-competitive challenge, flip the game on its head by having students find the mittens that don’t match the target number. Have them explain to you or a partner why they selected those options. You can use this opportunity to talk about systematically checking all cards to make sure they’ve not missed any out.
Left hand, right hand – a final way to challenge students and incorporate another essential preschool skill of identifying left and right is to add a mitten direction to the number. For example, if the target number is 9, you could ask students to find subitized examples of 9 that appear on left handed mittens only.
Like this? Then you’ll love my 10 Snow Themed Literacy and Math Centers. These easy-prep games will get your students working on letters, phonics, numbers and more!
1) Snowflake Pick and Cover Letters – Kids will pick letter cards and match them with the letters on the playing mat until all letters have been identified.
2) Snowflake Sight Words Bingo – 8 different bingo cards provided for use in small groups. 40 Pre-primer sight words are included.
3) Snowball Letters and Numbers Sorting – Sort the snowballs according to upper and lowercase or letters vs numbers.
4) Snowflake Vowel Sound Sorting – Print out the sorting mat and place the picture cards in the correct columns based on their vowel sounds.
5) Snowflake Write the Room Alphabet – Hunt around the room for a letter card and match the pictures on the recording sheet to complete the game.
6) Snowman Count and Write Numbers – Kids will practice writing number words 1-10. There are 2 versions included – with numbers and with ten frames.
7) Snowflake Counting Clip Cards – Develop fine motor skills and math skills in this 1-20 counting game.
8) Winter Numbers Memory Match – Flip 2 cards over at a time to find matching number pairs until all the numbers have been matched up.
9) Snowman Ten Frame Mats – Adorable counting mats with ten frames for one to one correspondence and counting practice. You can use this with cotton wool ‘snow’, pompoms, buttons, etc.
10) Snowflake Visual Discrimination Cards- Find the 2 matching snowflakes from a group of 6. There are 16 cards provided.
Fun Books For Winter:
Other Winter Printables You’ll Love: