## Friday, February 21, 2014

### Bright Ideas Math Blog Hop

I'm teaming up with a group of amazing bloggers to bring you a blog hop on some exciting math ideas!  Each blogger is going to share an exciting math idea, along with a freebie to get you started on your way :)
I love math!  When I was little I loved playing with numbers.  I even loved quadratic equations.  Who knew??

I think I have always loved math so much, because I was able to see it in use.  My dad was a rocket scientist.  He had a technical name for his job, but always loved just "rocket scientist".  He was one of those rare human beings who was a genius, but able to break down complex knowledge and bring it to a child's level.  I believe that he taught me a lot about being an effective teacher.  He never told me how to do something.  He showed me.  He started my love for concrete learning.

He is in heaven now, but his love of math and his gift of patience lives on in me.  I am able to "show" my kids how to learn about math.  I try and bring every concept first to the concrete level.  This was his gift to me.

I wanted to share an amazing video that brings learning to life.  This video is from the Teaching Channel.

This teacher epitomizes concrete learning!  She has a game that she created called, "Mingle".  The students will move around the room until the teacher calls out a number.  Then, the children will need to make a group with the available children.  The children that are not in a group are called the remainders.  She is actually using this math vocabulary with her kindergarteners.  The kids learn right from the beginning the correct math language.  The kids are able to use kinesthetic learning, leadership skills, and creative thinking.  It is building number sense in an AWESOME way!  This is the first time that I saw this game, but I will definitely use and share it in the future!
I wanted to share another amazing video from the Teaching Channel.  This teacher brings subitizing to life with her activity "Quick Images".  Ms. Latimer does a great job of having the kids describe how they found their answer.  Through the students' answers, you are able to see how each individual student's mind works.

I also love how Ms. Latimer asks the student's if they need to "revise" their answer, after taking another quick look.  This changes the student's perception of a mistake into a part of the learning process.  I loved watching a subitizing activity in action!

Subitizing is the ability to instantly identify a number of objects.  There is perceptual and conceptual subitizing.  This article, by Douglas H. Clements, "Subitizing: What Is It? Why Teach It?" explains the concepts more fully.  The gist is that perceptual subitizing is the ability to recognize an amount of objects immediately and conceptual subitizing involves more complex thinking.  People are able to use patterns and parts to come up with a number.

Here is an example.  My 3 year old daughter had Chic-Fil-A for breakfast.  There were two hash browns left in the container.  She was immediately able to tell me there were 2.  She used perceptual subitizing to identify the amount of 2.
When there were 3 hash browns and 1 nugget, she used conceptual subitizing to identify the amount of food.  When I asked her how she figured out how many pieces of food were left, she said there were 3 hashbrowns and 1 nugget.  If you put those together, you have 4.  She automatically grouped the hashbrowns into a group of 3 and the nugget into a group of 1.  It made it easier to quickly "find" the number.
I used conceptual subitizing to figure out how many "scrunchies" were covering my daughter's floor (this is only a small portion of the mess!)  In my head, I made one group of 2 and two groups of 1 to come up with the answer 4.  This is all done instantly, but is a more complex process than just knowing the amount.

I love subitizing.  However, for many of the kids that I work with, flat ten frames are not concrete enough.  I loved the idea of using a magnetic ten frame like the one in Ms. Latimer's video.  I don't own the magnetic ten frames that you can buy, so I decided to make my own.  I have plenty of cookie sheets, foam, and magnets.  I made my own ten frames and counters to fit them.  I printed them on colored paper, laminated and I was in business!  You can get a copy of my templates and printables here.

First, I printed and laminated the ten frames.  I cut them in half, so I have two sets ready to go.
I put magnetic tape on the edges of both ten frames and put them on a cookie sheet.
For the counters, I wanted a couple magnetic sets and a couple of sets with no magnets that could be used in a center.  I made each set differently.  For the magnetic set, I printed out 2 sets of counters on 2 different colors of paper.  I cut out 10 circles of each color.  I traced and cut out 20 circles of foam and hot glued the foam to each paper circle.
I hot glued one super strong magnet to the middle of one circle and glued two different colored circles + foam together.
Now you have a super durable two sided magnet that is easy to grasp and manipulate.  Students who have difficulty with fine motor skills, will find it easier to grasp this chunky magnet.

These magnets are super powerful!
To make the non-magnetic counters, I printed out one color of counters and got a sheet of foam.  I cut out the circles, traced the foam and hot glued the foam circle right to the laminated paper circle.  You have your counters.
Here are two completed ten frames and magnetic counters.  I love that the counters are two sided.  It gets students prepared for addition without them even knowing it!  It makes the patterns jump off the ten frame.
Here is an example of how my daughter made "2".  When I asked her to explain how she made it, she said that she had 1 pink and 1 yellow.  She is using an addition sentence without even knowing it!
One thing I really like about these ten frames and counters is that they are very portable.  I put each set of ten counters in a Ziploc baggie with a sliding closure.  It makes it easy for students to clean up.

I have 2 extension worksheets.  One is for partners and one for individual students.  I laminate the partner worksheet and put it right in the bag.  I put the ten frames and dry erase markers in the bag and put the entire bag on top of the cookie sheets.  So easy to store and transport.
Here is an example of a partner game.  You need dry erase markers, counters, a ten frame, and the a laminated worksheet (or put the worksheet in a sheet protector).  You choose the number for students to work on and they will count out the appropriate number of counters.  Then they will take turns challenging each other to make the number in a different way.  They can move the counters around, experiment with different colors.  The important part is that they are working with the number.  They will also tell their partner about "how" they made the number and how it was different each time.
Students will complete the individual extension worksheet in the same way.  They will work on whatever number that you provide.  They will get out the correct number of counters and move them around on the ten frame and record their answers on the worksheet.  You can have them verbalize how each way that they made the number is different or similar.  It will give you glimpses on how their mind is working!
Thanks so much for taking this time to learn about subitizing with me!  I hope you found something that you can use!  Here is a link to your own freebie!

Here are the affiliate links to the supplies that I used!

Thanks for joining me for this "Bright Ideas Math Blog Hop!"  Hop on over to An Adventure in Literacy to find some more bright ideas :)

I also linked up with The Preschool and Kindergarten Community.  Be sure to check there for tons of great ideas!

I linked up with Classroom Freebies: Manic Monday!  Be sure to check back there every Monday :)

Linked up with The Primary Gal for her Friday Free-For-All!
And with Teaching with Nancy for her T.G.I.F Weekly Freebie Link-Up!

1. WOWsers! I will be honest- I had never heard the word 'subitizing' before reading your post! Now that I can put a name to what I want my kinders to do, I am excited to use your goodies and suggestions! Thanks for the links to The Learning Channel videos too! This was a great and informative post and definitely a math 'bright idea!' Thanks for sharing!

1. Jenn- You made my day! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. It made my day :)
Laura

2. This was such an informative blogpost!!! Very visual and easy to grasp...and I learned some new things.

1. Thank you so much! I'm so glad that you found something useful :)
Laura

3. What a great blog! I love your center ideas and information! I need to spend a lot of time here! Thanks for all your hard work. Pam
Visit me at Teaching By The Sea!

1. Thanks so much! You made my day! I love your blog, as well!

4. OM! MY MIND IS BLOWN! I have never heard of subitizing! (I had to g back several times to make sure I spelled it correctly). And yet I have been teaching this concept to my kindergartners. When we see the top of a 10-frame filled we actually know it is 5, the whole thing is filled it is 10. When we see a tower (base 10 stick?) we know it is 10 and we can count on. I LOVE THE VIDEO about "Mingle" and I am currently teaching groups and sets getting ready for a higher level of composing and decomposing of numbers. I am going to try this "Mingle" on Monday! Thank you for the great video website and ideas!

1. Yay! That made me so happy to hear! I loved those videos, because I thought the teachers modeled the ideas wonderfully. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave me feedback! It makes me so happy :)
Laura

5. What great information! I can't wait to try these new activities with my kiddos on Monday. Thank you for sharing!

1. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave me feedback! It really makes me so happy to find a comment :) Hope your kids like the activity!
Laura

6. I had never heard about perceptual vs. conceptual subitizing. Thanks for using the video and your photo examples to make the difference very clear. Thanks also for your freebie!
Linda

1. Thanks so much! I'm so glad that you found some useful ideas :) Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment. It makes my day!!
Laura

7. I have heard of subitizing, but I loved hearing how the teacher explained it!!! Your freebie makes me want to go out and get the supplies to make my own!!! Thanks for the idea!

1. Yay! I loved the videos, too! I think both teachers were excellent. I hope you make your own board. I think it is worth the time and effort!!
Laura

8. These are great! I love the way that your put together the magnets. Thank you for sharing!
Jessica

1. Thanks so much! Thanks for taking the time to leave me a comment. It makes my day :) Hope the magnets work for you!
Laura

9. Laura, that is such a creative idea! I can't wait to use this.
MyFabulousClass

1. Thanks so much, Kelly! Let me know how it works with your kiddos!

10. this was such a fun post…i can't wait to mingle and subitize with my kindergarteners! i've now subscribed to the teaching channel, your blog and your TPT store! thanks for sharing!

1. Awww! You just made my morning so bright! Thanks so much!
The Teaching Channel is awesome! I love all the ideas :) Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!

11. I was just thinking that I needed to create something like this. Thanks for the great post. I hope you don't mind if I pin it so I can find it later.

12. I would love for you to pin it! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. I get so excited to hear from other teachers!

13. I never knew there were 2 levels to subitizing (perceptual & conceptual), it seems our schools math curriculum (1st grade Envisions) definitely teaches for conceptual subitizing but I guess I better make sure they have a solid ability to perceptually subitize as well.

14. Thanks for sharing this post. This idea is very useful and I can't wait to try this at school next year.
Marta from 'TresQuatreiCinc' http://marta345.blogspot.com.es