I have a lot of posts in my drafts folder; this sweet little convo took place the last time I saw the Angels.
“Tell me one fun thing you did at kindergarten today, my beautiful boy.”
(Note: I try to never ask questions that will never elicit a yes or no response.)
“I can subitize. Can you, Grandma?”
“What word did you say?”
“SUBITIZE!.” “SUBITIZE!!!” he yells RIGHT in my ear.
[Laughing] “Dude, I can hear you just fine, I don’t think I’ve ever heard that word. Say it again slowly.”
“What is that?”
“It’s like this” and he grabs a domino, looks at the amount of dots on it, and says “Eight”.
“Do another one, T.”
“How do you know without counting each one?”
He shrugs his TEENAGER-ISH shoulders, “I dunno, that’s subitize, Grandma.”
OK, well of course I know how to look at a group of items and my brain automatically counts them, but I didn’t know there was an actual word for it, so I learned something from our little kindergartner and he was BEYOND pleased that he could teach me for a change.
“Mommy, I taught Grandma something!” He was so proud of himself for knowing something that I did not.
From that day forward, our game is to say “Subitize me!” so he can quickly subitize sections of tangerines or apple slices or carrot sticks lined up to dip into hummus.
Did you know this word? Am I the only one who didn’t??
Subitizing is the rapid, accurate, and confident judgments of numbers performed for small numbers of items. The term was coined in 1949 by E.L. Kaufman et al., and is derived from the Latin adjective subitus (meaning “sudden”) and captures a feeling of immediately knowing how many items lie within the visual scene, when the number of items present falls within the subitizing range. Sets larger than about four items cannot be subitized unless the items appear in a pattern that the person is familiar with (such as the six dots on one face of a die).(Wiki)