Guided Math with Dominos: More Ideas
When teaching a guided math lesson, you always want to think about providing concrete, pictorial and abstract activities. You want to make sure that you are asking questions that make students think mathematically and justify their answers. These are the types of activities that build conceptual understanding but also help build automaticity. When the students are counting the pips they are working on understanding the numbers and how they are represented. But, when they are working on the fact sorts, they begin to build automaticity and fluency because they are thinking about the types of facts. I call fact knowledge, knowing the Dolch words of math. If students can look at a fact and recognize it as a double and then add fast, it gives them automaticity. If they recognize, “oh, that’s a plus 1 fact, I just count up one number” then they are building their fluency. If they can recognize, “oh that’s a doubles +1 fact, I just double and add one more” then they can add fast without using slower strategies such as counting on their fingers or counting up. Once children have conceptual understanding, we want them to have procedural fluency and automaticity. Dominos is a great tool to build that.
Concrete Level Activities: ACTIVITY A: Students match number facts with dominos. The good thing about using dominos is that the children can count the pips. I tend to have a wide assortment of dominos in the classroom. ACTIVITY B: Students create their own dominos with big dots (from Staples). You can either give them a large construction paper template or have them make their own.
Pictorial level: ACTIVITY A: Students pick a domino and draw it on a blank template. They then write the number sentence. ACTIVITY B: Using the fact sheet (which is differentiated by readiness) students paste a paper domino with the correct fact. They also play a domino match game, where the facts are on one side and the dominos on the other and they connect the ones that match with a line.
Abstract level: ACTIVITY A: Domino Fact Sort. Students have differentiated sorting sheets and they sort the facts according to specific criteria. For example, on one sheet students sort doubles dominos from all other dominos. ACTIVITY B: Domino Fact Sort Races. Using a sand timer, students see how long it takes them to find and sort various facts on a template.