Seeing Dots at the Early Years Workshop
Subitizing, estimating and quantifying were dominant themes of the Early Years Workshop that we held at the beginning of the current break. Particularly popular were the dotty plastic table cloths that I cut into enough segments for each participant to have one. The pieces of tablecloth became the background for a masking activity in which we cut out shapes in a piece of A4 to create masks. Through the mask, we explored the most/least number of dots that could be revealed by moving or rotating the masks and described strategies for working out how many dots were revealed each time.
“I saw two lots of 3 and one more. Double 3 is 6 and count on 1 makes 7.”
“I saw two lots of 4, double 4 is 8.”
“I saw that I could skip count in 2s, 2, 4, 6, 8. When I moved it a bit more I could still see the 8 and I could count on 1 to make 9 altogether.”
Drawing shape outlines as shown in the picture at the side provided many opportunities for estimating and checking, often with surprizing results.
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