Subitising - an important skill

marked questions with lots of wrong answers

Magic counting beans- a fun way to learn to subitise

Play any dice game using home-made magic counting beans, and really increase the opportunity for mathematical learning.

Make a set by colouring one side of some dried beans with sticky dots, acrylic paint or nail varnish.Watch the video for more details.

Play a favourite board game: Take turns to throw ten beans and score the number of beans which land coloured side up.

Pass it on – For scores of one, two or three, name the score out loud. As your child becomes more confident do the same for a score of four and five. This is called 'subitising' – instantly recognising the number of objects in a small group without counting. Recent research suggests that an ability to subitise is more important to mathematical development than it would seem.

Arrange the counting beans in a pattern to subitise larger numbers

For a larger score move the coloured beans into a pattern to help recognise the number Ask for example “Do you think you will score ten?”.

Your child's understanding of number and chance will be taken to another level if you play a game allowing each player to choose how many beans they throw on their turn. Try asking for example “Why have you chosen to throw... eight beans?”

Please let me know if you have a topic idea for the numberchase advice hub. Sue

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