Monday, October 15, 2012

NCTM Goodies

Hi sweet bloggers! 

I had the chance to attend the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics' (NCTM) Regional Conference in Dallas last week, and it was marvelous.

Honestly--SO many great ideas. I want to share ideas with you from three of the workshops that I just loved! 

First up: domino math.
Domino War, What's Under My Thumb?, and Target.

Dominoes are a staple in most classrooms and can be used in a variety of ways! They are great for building number sense with concepts such as adding on from the big number, subitizing (immediately recognizing a number based on the dot pattern), doubles, and much more. 

Allison Reddle with presented a phenomenal session and it was super interactive--which is really helpful when you leave for Dallas before 6 in the morning. :)

P.S. You're thinking that those are the coolest giant dominoes, right?? That's what I thought, too. You can get them HERE.

All games are played with a set of double-six dominoes. I am working on a Domino Domination packet that will hopefully be ready at the end of this week! The packet will have recording sheets, a set of printable double-six dominoes, how-to's, plus a parent letter with some easy ideas for engaging the family at home! 

Look how neat the graph is when you organize them by outcome (0 to 12)!! 

For today, I am going to share some simple ideas in case you need a quick game or center for class!

Domino War: This game could easily be differentiated for all of your littles and is quite simple (played just like the card game!). 

How to Play: 
1. Working in pairs, each child draws a domino from the pile and adds their dots to find the sum.
2. The kiddo with the greatest number of dots wins! (You could also have them each draw two dominoes add them both together for your higher level rovers.) 
3. If the totals are a tie, they each pull four dominoes from the pile. The first three stay upside down (so that you can't see the dots) and the fourth gets flipped over. 
4. Whichever child has the greater number wins both dominoes and the 6 that were unturned--hopefully they get a lucky hand! :) 

What's Under My Thumb?: Informal assessment (really quickly!) to help drive your instruction?? Yes, please! This should be played with one or two kiddos and a "referee" (parent, teacher, or third party).

How to Play:
1. The teacher or parent pulls a domino—but keeps it hidden!
2. Add the dots on the domino to figure out the sum.
3. Use your thumb to cover up the largest number (this is important because you are reinforcing adding on from the big number!)
4. Flip the domino around to show the uncovered number to your little.
5. Tell your student the sum and have them figure out what is under your thumb.
  Use this phrase: “__ is the sum. What’s under my thumb?”
6. If you are playing with two students, the quickest (but correct!) responder wins the domino.

Click HERE to see a video made by another teacher that explains the game really well. She made this video to be shared with her kiddos' parents.

Target: Great for a center, this domino game is engaging and fun! Students work in pairs with a set of dominoes and a 12-sided die--or two six-sided die if you want them to get in some more addition practice. 

How to Play:
1. All of the dominoes will be turned upside down (so you can't see the dots). 
2. Each player pulls two dominoes each and adds to get the sum. 
3. After rolling the 12-sided die, the player whose total is closest to the rolled number keeps the dominoes. 

I like this game because students are doing so much math!! Not only are they working on addition, but they are also comparing numbers and talking about greater than/less than. Makes a little heart happy!

 Be sure to check back later in the week for some more quick ideas from the conference and maybe a FREEBIE (*wink wink*)! 


Wishing you many blessings as you start a new week!


  1. Those are fun games and I think I have played them all!

    My kiddos love to play Salute with dominoes. It takes 3 players. 2 players place a domino on their forehead without looking at it. The 3rd player adds the 2 numbers and shares the sum. Each player then has to figure out what the domino on their forehead is.

    Does this make sense?

    I cannot wait to see your domino pack. =)

    Heather's Heart

    1. Heather, I love that idea!! Do you mind if I add it to my list of possibilities in my domino pack?? I'd love to give teachers as many resources as possible!


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