Often, students just memorize numbers or digits without actually understand the quantity they represent. Deck o’ Dots is a versatile deck of cards that was purposefully designed without digits to help students learn to subitize, or instantly recognize number quantity without one-to-one counting.
Each card features an arrangement of dots to help students develop conservation, the recognition that quantity does not change with physical rearrangement. With Deck o’ Dots, students become familiar with various patterns of dots so they can quickly determine the value of the card.
Additionally, Deck o’ Dots helps students develop the confidence, vocabulary and strategies to be able to communicate the reasoning behind their answer and to really understand what happens behind the scenes of our symbolic system of numbers.
Easily Differentiate the Development of Numeracy
Deck o’ Dots is unique because the deck is comprised of three decks that build upon each other in a logical, developmentally appropriate way to allow for differentiation and meeting the needs of all learners.
- Red Deck – Arranged quantities to 5 within the five frame structure
- Green Deck (plain shoes) – Scattered arrangements of 0-5 without the scaffold of the five frame
- Yellow Deck – Arranged quantities to 10 within the 10 frame structure
- Green Deck (stars on shoes): Scattered arrangements of 6-10 in various formats
Differentiation is simple and subtle, as decks are marked only by different colors. As kids develop confidence in conservation first to 5 and then to 10 by subitizing, they can progress through the levels of cards at their own pace or as directed by a teacher.
Learning to “Read” Numbers:
Abstract to Concrete
Deck o’ Dots provides a way to remove the complexity of numbers and help students understand the concrete, conceptual side of numbers.
Just like a child learning to read must first learn the sounds each letter makes before they can begin to experiment with blends and words, so a child must start their mathematical journey by understanding the quantity each digit represents before they can understand how to solve problems.
A Fun Way to Practice Numeracy
Students needs lots of practice with numeracy and conservation before they’re forced to plug “numbers” into mathematical algorithms. When students without a strong sense of numeracy try to add digits together, they’re often trying to put the numbers in their heads and count one-to-one to arrive at the solution.
Our series of Deck o’ Dots Games can provide multiple avenues for engaging practice that will help students develop a strong foundation of numeracy. After mastering numeracy, students can continue to build on that foundation with addition, subtraction, and missing addend games played with any of the levels of Deck o’ Dots cards. Systematic practice with Deck o’ Dots cards and games will help students visualize what is actually taking place with the quantities involved “behind the scenes” of an algorithm.