The time for mastering math facts is now! Give your third-grader a much needed break from those drill sheets and have some fun at the same time. Dominoes is a classic game that can also be useful for practicing basic math facts. You can use these playing pieces to help your child review addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts in a fun, interactive way. Domino Deal will motivate your child to practice math facts and prepare her for the more challenging math that lies ahead!
What You Do:
- Deal a stack of dominoes to each player. Player 1 begins by pulling a domino from his stack and adding the top number to the bottom number on the domino. For example, if the domino’s top number is 4 and bottom number is 2, Player 1 adds 4 +2 = 6. Player 2 repeats this process using a domino from her stack. Both players should write the sum of their dominoes on a piece of paper.
- Next, both players multiply the two sums together. The player who calls out the correct answer first wins the round. Continue playing in this way until one player wins 10 rounds!
- Take the game to a higher level by adding a couple of steps. Both players should pull two dominoes from their stacks and add to get a total for each domino. Next, players multiply the two sums from their dominoes and compare answers. The player with the highest number after multiplying wins the round. Continue playing in this way until one player wins 10 rounds.
- Practice division facts by reinforcing the concept of “fact families” while playing. For example, if your child pulls two dominoes whose sums are 5 and 3, then multiplies to get 15, remind her that 3, 5 and 15 make up a fact family:
- 3 x 5 = 15
- 5 x 3 = 15
- 15 ÷ 3 = 5
- 15 ÷ 5 = 3
You can even practice subtraction facts by playing yet another version of the game. Instead of adding the two numbers on the dominoes, subtract the smaller number from the larger number. Then multiply both differences and compare the answers for a winner. Before you know it, you and your child will have completed a full review of several years of math facts—all while playing a relaxing game!
Brigid Del Carmen has a Master's Degree in Special Education. Over the past eight years, she has taught Language Arts, Reading and Math in her middle school special education classroom.