Perceptual Subitizer to 5

Instantly and effortlessly recognizes collections up to 5 (without counting) and verbally names the number of items. What separates this level from the previous level (perceptual subitizer to 4) is that a child recognizes and uses spatial and numeric structures from past experiences to subitize. 

Activities

You may see this:

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Other Examples:

A child is shown the five side of a game die (4 dots arranged as a square, with one dot in the middle). When asked “How many?” the child answers “Five!”

Help your student become a(n) Perceptual Subitizer to 5

Activities throughout the day naming the number in sets of 1 to 5 and game-like opportunities to name the number in sets only seen for 2 seconds or less help develop this fundamental numeracy concept. Simple, high-contrast items (e.g., black dots on white paper plates) focus children's attention on the number in the set. Remember, the perceptual levels are one of the very few times we do not ask "how do you know"--it's just seeing (or hearing) and naming.

Practice-based Research: In group activitities, playfully assess how high and accurately each child can name the number in small sets; increase the amount for each child to discover what numbers he or she knows.

Special Thanks To

Institute of Education Sciences
The research reported here was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through grant numbers R305K050157, R305A120813, R305A110188, and R305A150243. to the University of Denver. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the Institute or the U.S. Department of Education.