Conceptual Subitizing With Dot Cards

This dot card image was shared by Jo Boaler at a recent workshop.

Because there are more than 5 dots, most people will conceptually subitize by making multiple “groups” of dots often forming some sort of visual pattern in the mind. Give this one a shot.

Consider using these images to prompt number talks around conceptual subitizing and unitizing as we push students thinking from additive to multiplicative over time. Also, consider checking out other subitizing videos here.

Visual Prompts

Math Is Visual Prompt #1

Show the following image for a few seconds and then take it off the screen.

Conceptual Subitizing - Dot Card - Spatial Reasoning - Jo Boaler Visual Prompt 01


Ask students to share how they visualized the dots after showing the Math Is Visual prompt.

You may consider having a discussion with students so they are aware of how they likely subitized the dots by visualizing different groups.

You could also possibly ask them to create a number sentence that describes their visual (i.e.: 2 + 3 + 2)

Silent Solution

View the silent solution video at the top of the page or by clicking here.

If you want to see the full post on the Principles of Counting and Quantity, see my blog post here.


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