Taking Delight With Dominoes!
To review the concept of subtraction, read any story that starts out with 10 of something and takes 1 away until there are none left. My favorite is 10 Little Dinosaursby Pattie L. Schnetzler. You can click on my Dinosaur YouTube video to hear me read the story.
Another is Ten Sly Piranhas by William Wise.
Have students show you 10 fingers and call them 10 dinosaurs, piranhas or whatever is the key character in the story and then have them “disappear” as you read.
You can view an excellent musical rendition of the piranha book on YouTube Click on the link to check it out.
Bingo songs are also a great way to show subtraction. I have made up quite a few.
My Y5’s really enjoyed singing these songs. They not only helped them “see” subtraction in action, as the letter cards were removed, but it helped build their vocabularies and learn how to spell as well.
Click on the link for the Bingo Song packet.
Give students 10 manipulatives and have them practice taking away a specific number and writing the number sentences and solutions on a sheet of scratch paper.
If you watched my video above, and wondered about the puppets, I produce 10 miniature dinosaur finger puppets in a magic trick, so that my students can manipulate them for a few minutes to see "subtraction in action."
So where do the dominoes come in?
They are just another fun way to help students understand fact families in a hands-on way.
Spill out several sets of dominoes on the floor. Call out a sum and have students look at the dominoes and tell you which ones have that many spots.
Using their mini-dry erase boards that they made out of a glossy sheet of ink jet paper that were mentioned in the previous articles, encourage children to write the addition equation suggested by the domino.
For example, the domino on the right, could have 4 + 5 = 9 as an equation.
For another activity, choose two dominoes with the same number of total spots, and then display them with one crossed over the other so that both parts of the upper domino but only one part of the bottom domino is visible.
Tell your students that both dominoes have the same number of spots. Can they guess how many spots are covered on the bottom domino?
When a correct response is given, display the domino and ask how they figured out their answer.
Do the example 2 or 3 more times, making sure everyone understands the concept. Make sure you choose an empty-sided domino, so you can explain what happens when zero is added or subtracted.
Have students choose a partner and take turns being the teacher, so they can focus on the relationship of subtraction to addition.
Tell them to also sort the set of double 6 dominoes by the sums that the dominoes represent.
Set the timer for 5-10 minutes, then call the children together. Show them how to write the 2 addition and 2 subtraction sentences, which a non-double domino represent, and then call on a student to choose a domino, and write their 4 sentences on their mini board.
The domino on the left, would represent the following addition and subtraction sentences:
5 + 2 = 7
2+ 5 = 7
7- 5 = 2
7 - 2 = 5
Repeat the exercise 1 or 2 more times, to make sure your students understand it and then have them either work independently choosing dominoes and writing equations on their recording sheet, or working with the same or a different partner.
If you are doing my Student Space Travel Learning Log, reward everyone with an alien or spaceship sticker for this activity.
I've included templates for a set of paper dice like the ones featured in this article.
There's a small set for students and a larger set for teachers to use as flashcards + medium and jumbo blank templates.
I try to include several standards while I'm teaching math, so I've also included 2 templates called "Ready-Set-Sequence!" You can review ordinal numbers at the same time you're going over fact families with your students and nail 2 birds with 1 stone!
I've also included domino fact family skill sheets for all of the fact families 5-10, an anchor chart, 2 posters, a happy gram + a certificate of praise. I think you and yours will really enjoy the hands-on fun of this packet.
Click on the link to view/download the Domino Fact Family Fun Packet.
What Else Can You Do With Dominoes?
Would you believe that the picture of Abraham Lincoln (above right), was figured out mathematically, so that the artist could put it together with dominoes?
If you click on it and enlarge it, you will see the dominoes! I think this is absolutely awesome.
The artist is kind enough to share the “how to” so you can do it with your students, by only using 12 sets of dominoes.
I get mine at The Dollar Store. You can check out his other cool artwork and get the pattern by clicking on the link.
He has pictures of Martin Luther King and the Statue of Liberty as well.
One of the interesting things that I do for 100 Day, is stack a snake-like line of 100 dominoes, so that my students can watch them fall.
I knew they would think that was pretty cool, so one of the 100 day books I read is 100 Days of Cool by Stuart J. Murphy, who suggests putting dominoes together that have 100 dots.
Follow up the story or your 100 domino falling activity by watching these very short, YouTube videos.
To see what 60,000 dominoes look like falling click on the above link. They took days to set up and only 12 seconds to fall!
The really cool Nintendo domino video that follows will also impress your students! After putting together my mere 100-domino snake and freaking each time I shook a little, I can’t imagine putting something of this scale together!
Once your students have enjoyed making fact families with dominoes they might be hooked and want to play more games.
The best site I’ve found for a huge variety of domino games, is at the Domino Plaza. They’re a “must see” and have been around since 1995!
I hope you and your students are delighted with dominoes and how they add to the fun of learning and practicing fact families!
Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN anything you feel others might enjoy.
"The important thing in not to stop questioning." -Albert Einstein