You might think that subitizing and brain breaks don't really fit well together for a blog post.... but you haven't met my class this year!
I have the antsy, can't sit still, can't stop talking, need to move, kind of class this year. We need to take frequent brain and body breaks in order to stay focused for even a little while. I'll share my Brain Break strategy at the end (at which point you might need your own brain break).
We've been working on Subitizing for the last couple of weeks along with our unit on doubles. If you're not familiar with subitizing, it is the ability to "see" images as a group. Having this skill allows students to quickly add groups of objects. When subitizing you use "quick images". You might be familiar with them as "dot plates". Years ago I used a bingo dabber and paper plates and made some simple arrangements on the plates to quickly flash for my students. The images are very similar to what you would see on a pair of dice or a single die.
I would hold up the paper plate for 2-3 seconds and then turn it around. Students put their thumbs up when they have recognized how many dots were on the plate. I had them tell me how many dots they saw and how they knew it was that many. They would give answers like, "I saw 8 and I know it was 8 because I saw 2 groups of 4". So you can see how working on this type of skill can be beneficial to students and can help with automatizing their basic number facts and ability to group images/objects quickly.
Well you know me, I'm all about the tech these days so I decided to incorporate technology with subitizing (okay really, I couldn't find my dot plates so I needed to figure something else out). It happened to work out well!
I made a powerpoint slide show with image arrangements on every other slide and the slides in between are plain black. This allows you to quickly flash the image and then click to the next slide which is black. You can easily go back and forth between images and you aren't fumbling with flash cards or dot plates. This worked out much better for me!
I made this powerpoint for fall and used apples, pumpkins, and leaves as the images. I also added a simple set of black dot quick images for use any time of the year. The nice thing about the powerpoint is that you can reorder the slides however you like. Currently, I have them going from one to 10 but you could do a mixture of numbers as well.
You can check this file out by clicking here or on the image below:
Since we already had the projector on and I knew we were moving into an intense math lesson after our 5-10 minutes of subitizing...so I decided to try a brain break. I signed my class up for the FREE website Go Noodle and we gave it a try!
It was definitely a hit! Each activity is around 2-3 minutes long and the class earns points for each activity they complete. There's even kids Zumba! The brain breaks are led by this cute little monkey guy that the students just love (okay I loved him).
It was the perfect amount of time to help us transition and get our brains focused again.
I highly recommend giving Go Noodle a try!
Happy Weekend Folks
And Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian followers!
Don't forget to check out Mrs. Beattie's Blog for some more awesome ideas and a Canadian Thanksgiving Sale!