I love things that you can use in lots of different ways. It is so fabulous when you can buy something and put it to use in a few different activities. Dominoes are one such item. They can be used for so many classroom activities. With a little creativity, dominoes can be a fun part of many math and literacy activities.
For math, they are a perfect way to work with math facts. We use them for addition facts, subtraction facts, related facts, and fact families.
Before we started all of this domino math fact work we read, Domino Addition by Lynette Long. This simple text helps students see patterns in the dominoes and how to generate addition equations using dominoes.
After reading Domino Addition, we played Domino Scoot (Addition). I placed a domino at each student desk. The students used their recording sheets to illustrate each domino and write two related addition facts to go along with that domino. After about a minute, I signal them to scoot to the next desk.
We used the same setup to play Domino Scoot for subtraction facts. After a little more practice, we will use this activity once again for fact families.
Since the recording sheets are so open ended, I can use this exact activity again later for review or for reteaching purposes.
At the bottom of this post you can find a link to my Domino Scoot recording sheets.
Besides fact practice, we've also used dominoes for odd and even sorting. This activity is super simple, with very little prep required. Students just write odd or even on a note can and then sort the dominoes into the correct category.
You could use this same strategy with other skills as well, like less than 5/greater than 5 or doubles/not doubles. Just think of different ways students can sort the dominoes.
Another low prep use for dominoes is to use them for word work. They are very easy to arrange and use to make words. My students like to use them to practice their spelling words.
Other domino literacy activities I've used require a little more work on the front end, but are fun and a great way to practice a variety of skills. For example, we work on short and long vowel discrimination by playing domino match ups.
I make dominoes with a picture on one end and the corresponding vowel sound on the end of another domino. Students match the correct vowel sound with each picture. When they complete the matching, there is an optional recording sheet.
I like to use these match ups as a partner activity with the whole group. Which means, I print half as many dominoes as students so that all the partner sets can play at the same time.
I prep these by printing the dominoes on card stock, laminating, and cutting them. However, for a quicker prep, you could print them and have students cut out their own sets.
My young learners have also practiced contractions with domino match ups. I printed dominoes that have two words on one side and the corresponding contraction on the end of another domino. Students match the correct words with the correct contraction. When they complete the contraction matching, there is an optional recording sheet.
If you would like a free copy of the Contraction Domino Match Up or the Long & Short O Domino Match Up, see the bottom of the post.
You can click on the pictures below for free domino activities for your classroom.
I hope you enjoy these activities or at least get some ideas to address your own student needs. Thanks so much for stopping by.