Learning Math with Dominoes

Today I wanted to do some math work sheets (I had addition in mind) with Coryn. It was easy enough to find some (just google "addition work sheets" or something like that. There are a ton of free resources out there), but apparently being out of gray ink means I can't print black and white worksheets (what sort of printer has a cartridge specifically for gray ink? Mine, apparently.). So I had to improvise.

A couple years ago I bought two separate sets of dominoes on clearance: one with numerals, the other with the more traditional dots.  From there it was pretty easy to form a plan. I opened them up and started matching the dot dominoes to the identical numeral dominoes as seen below.

I put the first set in front of Coryn, asked her to name the numbers then count the dots. Then said, "So six and six is. . ." and let her fill in the blanks.

We went through the entire sets (except for any with blanks. Since the blanks aren't a zero I didn't feel the conveyed the equation as well as I'd like.) and then played a quick game of dominoes just for the heck of it.

Our sets only go up to six but online you can get both numeral and dot dominoes going up to 15 (I'm sure some sets are higher; 15 was just the highest I saw in a quick perusal of Amazon.com's game section). I think it is important for a child to be able to associate the symbol with the number, which is why I bought both sets in the first place. I also chose to mix the sets up when we played the game of dominoes so she could dots with numbers.

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  1. As a former teacher, I LOVE hands on learning!! I think it is a fabulous way to associate concepts with the goal. Have fun!!! :)

    1. Another thing I really like about the dominoes is that they allow her to count out the answer to the problem if it is too much for her. The smaller numbers she can glance at and say two and two is four by the larger (6 and 5 for instance) she can take the time to count each dot individually.

  2. Great math teaching idea. Love it.

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    Kathy Shea Mormino

    The Chicken Chick


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