Subitizing is the ability to instantly recognize small quantities of objects. The ability to intuitively know how many are in a group requires daily opportunities to play with counting small groups of items.
Wikki Stix Counting Rings
Materials needed: 5 Wikki Stix and 15 Pony Beads (for each set of 1-5 counting rings).
Begin with the numbers 1-5 only. Invite the children to play and create by setting out all items on a tray or at a table.
Have your child/students count the pony beads independently for each of the numbers (1-5). Ask your child to pick up each pony bead as they count and set it back down as they verbal count. Observe counting successes or errors.
To Make the Wikki Stix Counting Rings:
Have the children thread the pony bead(s) through each strand of Wikki Stix to create counting rings for each number 1-5 (see photo above). When your child is able to count the numbers 1-5 correctly with consistency, they can progress to visual scanning for mental math.
Invite your child to visually scan the Wikki Stix counting rings for practice. Can your child identify which counting ring has a group of 3 pony beads (without counting one-by-one)? Practice until the children can visually scan all 5 counting rings and instantly recognize the number of pony beads on each of the rings. As the children practice making quick visual scans, they will become pros at subitizing! Note: larger numbered counting rings can be introduced after the children are comfortable with the numbers 1-5.