Subitising is the ability to recognise how many objects there are in a set or a group instantly. This skill is an important step towards students developing a better understanding of quantity. Without this, students depend on counting every object, a slow and tedious method. When student’s recognise…

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When students start school, they are assessed to determine their understanding and knowledge about numbers. This includes counting forwards and backwards, reading numerals, sequencing, and subitising. When faced with a number problem, such as 5+4, students use objects to form a set of 5 and a set of 4 and then count every object to answer the question. Subitising gives students the ability to ‘see’ the sets in their head and join them. This is a more efficient and faster method.

Three-in-a-Row is a fun and competitive game, designed to provide students with opportunities to subitise.

The Game

Three-in-a-Row, is very similar to the traditional game Connect Four. Instead of a doubled sided standing board with columns and plastic-coloured disks, students have a flat game board with coloured counters. On the Three-in-a-Row game board there are pictures of the different sides of a traditional dice. These are placed in a grid formation.

Students take turns rolling the dice. They say the number they rolled and then place their counter on the same dice picture on the board. As the game progresses, students try to place counters to form a horizontal or vertical line of three. The student first to do this is the winner. When this happens, the board is cleared and the players start a new game.

It’s easy to find the right picture on the board because it looks the same as the dice.

New Game - Numeral to Spots

Once students could instantly identify the same spot patterns on their dice as on their game board, they moved onto a numeral dice. Instead of spots, these dice had the numerals 1 to 6. Students had to be able to recognise and say the numeral on the dice and then transfer this to a dice spot pattern on their game board.

Sometimes it’s really hard to get three counters in a row! 

The next step for these students is to apply this skill with simple number problems. When students trust in their ability to instantly know how many objects there are in a set and can visualise it, they are often better able to manipulate the objects and work out the answer in their mind.

2024 Griffin

Fiona Griffin

I believe Wairakei Primary School is a special place. It provides a safe environment for our children to discover, create and develop their love of learning.

I grew up in Taupō and have lived here most of my life. I am married with two grown sons and two delightful grandchildren. My husband and I enjoy travelling, spending time with our family and friends, tramping and camping. I love arts and crafts, in particular painting and sketching. Before becoming a teacher, I was a tailor and had my own clothing design business. I still enjoy designing and making clothing, especially wedding dresses.

I have been a teacher since 2005. I joined Wairakei Primary School in 2018. I love teaching and I especially love teaching at Wairakei Primary School. I became a teacher after 7 years as a scout leader for 1st Taupō Scouts. This was where I realised my desire to inspire and educate children was more important to me than just one hour, once a week.


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