Using Dominoes in the Classroom to Teach Addition

Dominoes can be fun to play with, but they also make great teaching tools for students learning about addition. Teachers can use dominoes to help their students learn about commutative property of addition, which states that adding the same numbers together in different ways has the same effect. This can be especially important for students who are transitioning between using moveable manipulatives and writing equations with number values and addition symbols.

In addition, students can use a set of dominoes to practice naming addition equations and identifying the relation between the total number of dots on a domino and the number of dots on each end. To practice this, the teacher can hold up a domino with four dots on one side and two dots on the other and ask the class to name the addition equation that would correctly show 4 + 2 = 6. This is an easy way for the classroom to reinforce how the same number of dots can be represented in several different ways.

Another way to use domino in the classroom is to create domino art. This can be done by drawing a picture with chalk or a marker on the floor and placing the dominoes to form the outline of the drawing. Students can then use the dominoes to fill in the picture with dots. Then they can name the addition equation that represents the whole picture and write it on their paper. This activity can be done with a single group or with the entire class.

The most common dominoes are made of plastic, but some sets are made of bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl or MOP), ivory or a dark hardwood such as ebony, with contrasting black or white pips inlaid or painted on the edges. These types of sets have a more unique look and feel than those made of polymer, and they tend to be heavier.

Each domino in a domino game has a specific number of pips or dots on each end, and a typical set contains 28 such pieces. A domino with a double is always played to the left of a single, and a double is always placed crossing-ways over the other side of the double. Thus the domino chain develops a snake-like shape. Larger sets are sometimes “extended” by introducing additional ends with more pips to allow more players to participate in the game.

If you’re a panster, meaning that you don’t use outlines or Scrivener to plot your novel ahead of time, you’ll probably find yourself writing scenes that seem out of place or don’t have enough logical impact on the scene before them. Thinking about the concept of the domino effect can help you weed out scenes that don’t add to your story. It can also help you plan the way your story will progress, like a domino rally. This can raise your tension and interest in the story and keep the pace moving forward.