How to Subitize – See numbers in your head

Easily subitize by breaking numbers into pairs of three. 1,2,3 and 4,5,6 and 7,8,9 can be grouped together.
To subitize is to mentally count individual units of one. A quick way to subitize is to group numbers in three’s.

When I learned math as a child, I went straight to memorizing numerals. What I did not fully understand was what the numerals actually represent. This slowed down my math.

Determined to solve this problem, I figured out a system for counting that groups numbers 1 through 9 into chunks of three. This counting system is pictured above. It almost looks like braille and could be converted into raised bumps for the blind and visually impaired.

This system came to me in February 2016 as I was walking through my neighborhood and trying to count leaves on clovers or petals on flowers. It was hard to arrive at an accurate count after only glancing at the object. In fact, the dictionary definition of Subitize offers that the limit for humans to subitize is seven.

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A simple definition of math

If the first thing children learn in math is counting, then could the answer to the question “What is math?” be technology for counting?

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