I am participating in the online Number Talks Book Study. It has been immensely helpful re-reading this book, and being able to read other teacher's experiences with trying number talks on a regular basis in their classrooms.
This week I did some of the dot cards in a class of sophomores. I was a bit nervous about it, especially the whole "put your thumb on your chest" thing. But it went great and it was fun to look around the room and see a lot of students with one, two, three fingers out as well, meaning they had more than one method of "counting" the dots that involved grouping them in some way.
We started with something very easy: just some dice like set ups. I asked them how they all knew how many dots there were so QUICKLY?? "I just KNOW," was the most common reply. I explained that they were using a term called subitizing. They have done this since they first played board games and knew how many places to jump when they rolled this:
We finished up with this "dot" card from the book.
One girl who never says ANYthing in class practically leapt out of her seat when I asked for volunteers to share how they were able to figure out how many dots there were.
Yup, I'm a believer!