When I first started teaching primary grades, I found myself with several containers of dominoes in the classroom and I wasn't quite sure how I should be using them. When I started teaching math workshop it made sense to put these math tools to work in a meaningful way. I decided that one of the best ways to use them was for an independent work station since the station could be differentiated based on which dominoes the students had access to. That's when Dominoes for Days was created:
I put multiple copies of each activity into sheet protectors and place with the rest of my math games. Students can grab the game boards, the dominoes, and their dry erase markers and get right to work. This saves me copies in the long run and students get a lot of practice because the dominoes will provide different math problems each time the students use the activities. Because these activities can be completed independently, the teacher is free to work with small groups.
So, how do I differentiate for my students? I select the dominoes the groups work with. For my lower second graders, they don't have dominoes with sums over 10. For my higher students, I take out any dominoes with 0s, 1s, and 2s. I also make sure they have the dominoes with the highest numbers on both sides.
There are six activities included:
Addition & Subtraction - Students grab their stack of dominoes, draw the dominoes, and write the number sentences.
Odds and Evens - students draw dominoes from their stack, draw the picture, determine the total, and then decide if the total is odd or even.
Comparisons - students draw two dominoes from their stack. They draw the pictures, determine the totals, and then write >, <, or = to make a true number sentence. To save time, students can just leave the dominoes in place.
Fact Families - this one helps students practice the relationship between addition and subtraction. Students draw a domino and then write the addition and subtraction number sentences to show the family. For my top kids, I make sure I toss in the dominoes with a zero on one side and the doubles facts because inevitably, they really have to slow down and think about the subtraction facts with these ones!
Line-Up - this activity focuses on ordering numbers from largest to smallest. Students select dominoes from their pile. After drawing the pictures and determining the total of each domino, students put them in order.
There are also two types of practice pages (8 pages total):
On the True or False pages, students help determine if the math has been done correctly. On the What's Missing pages, students must find the missing addend to make a true number sentence. I have included four different versions of each. You can use them for a pre/post assessment, as daily practice, or to ensure students are doing their own work and not using their neighbor's brain.
You can find all of these activities here: