Cross Gates

Primary School

Aspire, Learn, Succeed

Cross Gates

Primary School

Aspire, Learn, Succeed

W/C 25/9/23

This week, the children were encouraged to quantify sets of objects by subitising, rather than counting. When subitising, children can say how many there are in a small group of objects by ‘just seeing’ and knowing straightaway without needing to count.

Subitising can be categorised as ‘perceptual’ or ‘conceptual’. Perceptual subitising is used for very small sets of objects (initially up to about 3) and conceptual subitising is used when sub-groups can be perceived within a larger set and the whole is recognised, e.g. if 6 dots are arranged in a dice pattern, children may recognise this as ‘two 3s’ and know this is 6. Some arrangements are easier to subitise than others, for example, a set of 3 dots arranged in a triangular pattern may be easier to recognise than a random arrangement, and children need to be exposed to many different arrangements. This week we have focused on perceptual subitising

We have been:

  • representing the number in a given set using different objects – e.g. showing the same number on their fingers
  • naming quantities with number words, (e.g. “I can see 3.”)
  • matching sets to numerals
  • making our own arrangements that can be subitised.


Home Challenge

You will need:

3 paper cups (or mugs or bowls)

6 small objects of the same size shape (1p's, smarties, small pebbles etc)

Hide 3 objects in the first cup by placing the cup upside down over the objects. Then do the same with 1 object under the next cup and the remaining 2 under the last cup. 

Play a game with your child where you quickly lift a cup to reveal the amount underneath then cover it again within a couple of seconds so the child has to just say the number they can see rather than count it (they shouldn't have time to count with a quick reveal). Move the cups around as you keep playing the game. 

We look forward to hearing how you get on through your observations on Tapestry.