menu   Home Answers Math Games Free Resources Contact Me  

Domino Math - Using Dominoes to Problem Solve and Practice Math Concepts

Dots Fun for Everyone
It is believed dominoes evolved from dice. In fact, the numbers in a standard double-six set of dominoes represent all the rolls of two six-sided die. It is thought they originated in China around the 12th century. They have been used in a large variety of games for hundreds of years, and today, dominoes are played all over the world.

Games allow children to learn a great deal concerning mathematical concepts and number relationships. Often they are required to use critical thinking skills as well as varied math strategies to solve them. Since dominoes make a great manipulative for hands-on learning, I created a 29 page book of domino activities for grades 3-5 that are great for students who finish early or for introducing a new mathematical concept or for use at a math center. Using dominoes for a math practice center is a way to engage students while giving them a chance to review math facts.

The activities and three games vary in difficulty; so, differentiated instruction is easy. The variety of pages allows you to choose the practice page that is just right for each student. This resource correlates well with the CCSS standards.
Dots Fun

The activities in Dots Fun for Everyone (grades 3-5) include four digit place value, using the commutative property, problem solving, reducing proper and improper fractions and practicing multiplication and division facts. The games involve finding sums, using <, >, and = signs and ordering fractions.

These domino math activities in Dots Fun (primary grades) include recognizing sets, place value of two and four digit numbers, creating domino worms, gathering data, using the commutative property, and practicing addition and subtraction facts. The games involve matching, finding sums, and using greater than, less than, and equal signs. For these 13 activities and four games, you may use commercial sets dominoes or copy the blackline which is provided in the resource. This resource links closely with the CCSS standards. 

Some of the domino activities in these two resources use games while others will extend, enhance or introduce a new math concept. Since children are curious and inquisitive, plus some may have never seen dominoes, allow time for play and exploration before beginning any instruction. This is constructive as well as a productive use of class time. If they are not given this, most children will fool around and investigate during the teaching time.

To view examples from these resources as well as a complete Table of Contents, download the preview or FREE versions available at my TPT store.

A 2022 Go Figure Debut for an ELL/ESL Teacher Who is New!

Fun To Teach
Lori has been teaching for 24 years. The thing she likes best about teaching is that it gives her the chance to recreate her job each year! Since Lori is an ESL teacher, her classroom is full of songs, games, talking, listening, reading, and writing. Her motto is to make it FUN TO TEACH and her classroom reflects that belief.

When Lori began teaching, she was a bilingual 1st and 2nd grade teacher, English and Spanish. Trying to find high quality materials that were the same in Spanish and English was more than difficult. She found very few bilingual and ESL resources available; so, Lori and her sister and husband started Kingsley Publishing. Lori wrote the units; her sister's husband, Mark, a graphic artist, did the images. and Susan, her sister, did the marketing. The company eventually sold to Carson-Dellosa, and then Lori started Math Games in English and Spanish which morphed into Fun To Teach. Fun To Teach is committed to making high quality resources that are engaging, fun and will lighten a teachers' workload.

One of Lori's Quilts
As creative outlets, Lori loves to garden and make quilts. Her garden is a huge part of her life, and she is passionate about it. It is a way to express herself, to mediate as she pulls weeds, and to find joy in being outside. (Sounds like me!) Lori loves to quilt and usually does it in the winter when the weather changes, and it is not as inviting to be outside in the garden.

Lori has 214 products in her Teachers Pay Teachers store called Fun to Teach that cover ESL, math, kindergarten, Spanish, sentence starters, verb games and more. Included are 33 free products.

Lori’s featured free item is entitled Multiplication Games – Multiplying by 8. This resource is easy to use and includes free multiplication math fact fluency activities and multiplication games to supplement your teacher toolbox. This time-saving math resource provides free printable math games for multiplication by 8 and focuses on multiplication fact fluency.

Lori’s featured paid resource is a bundle called The ELL (English Language Learner) Newcomers, ESL Curriculum. The five units in this ELL English newcomer bundle will help classroom teachers and ESL/ELD teachers reach and teach English Newcomers. Each ELL newcomer unit focuses on the beginning verbs, grammar, and vocabulary ELL newcomers need to build fluency in English. Lori has also included beginning literacy activities for Newcomers. Each English newcomer unit has an abundance of activities and lessons for ELL newcomers.

My daughter teaches in a New Comers program, grades K-2, and she is constantly looking for resources for her students. She, too, finds such items in short supply; so, she ends up creating many on her own which takes away from lesson planning. I think Lori’s store will be a God-send for her. If you’re in this position, take the time to visit Lori’s store and see the many first-class items available. Get your beginning ESL newcomer students learning right away with these resources!


In 2022, I am highlighting TPT sellers who are also TBOTEMC members. Both Lori and I are members. "The Best of Teacher Entrepreneur's Marketing Cooperative" (TBOTEMC) is a group of teachers who promote their resources cooperatively.  Why not become a member and take your TPT store to the next level?

Earth Day - Free Activities and Lessons Using Recycled Items

With Earth Day just around the corner, I began thinking, "What sort of extraordinary things could I create from ordinary things which might otherwise be thrown away?"  Here is just one of my Trash to Treasure ideas.

Go to any Quick Trip or a similar store  and ask if you could have some plastic cup lids, two for each child.  (Stores are usually happy to help out teachers.)  I like the sturdy 4" red ones.  Instead of placing a straw in the designated spot, place a brad to connect two of the lids.  These should be touching each other top to top or flat side to flat side.

After the lids are together, place a few stickers on the outside of the lids.  What do you have?  A card holder!  Just slide the game cards in between the two lids, and they will actually stay there!  These are great for little hands which have difficulty holding several cards, or for older hands which aren't functioning like they used to, or for disabled or crippled hands.  My grandchildren love them because they can now play Old Maid without dropping and showing everyone all of their cards.

Go to my store and download a free version of my resource entitled Trash to Treasure. It is an eight page handout that features clever ideas, fun and engaging mini-lessons in addition to cute and easy-to-construct crafts made from recycled or common, everyday items. In this resource, discover how to take old, discarded materials and make them into new, useful, inexpensive products or tools for your classroom. Learn many out-of-the-ordinary ways to use milk lids for math. Discover how to use butter tubs to create a fun indoor recess game that practices math skills. How about practicing math facts using egg cartons?

Because these numerous activities vary in difficulty and complexity, they are appropriate for any PreK-3 classroom, and the visual and/or kinesthetic learners will love them. Do you have a Trash to Treasure idea? Share it with us by leaving a comment.

Easter - Why Do We Celebrate This Day?

       He is not here; He has risen! (Luke 24:6)
For most schools here in Kansas, there is no school next Friday because it will be Good Friday. Good Friday is always two days before Easter and commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and His cruel death on Calvary. Christian theology teaches that Christ's death is the perfect atonement for sins, and as a result, the crucifix, or cross, is one of the fundamental symbols of Christianity.

On Easter, our family will gather at church to celebrate Jesus Christ's resurrection from the dead. The New Testament teaches that the resurrection of Jesus is the foundation of Christianity. It establishes Jesus as the powerful Son of God and as a living Savior because He conquered death through His resurrection. It is a day of joyous celebration when many hymns as well as arrangements of special music and songs of the faith are sung.

In our current culture, I'm not sure what people really know or understand about Easter, especially children. Is it just Easter egg hunts, Easter candy and chocolate Easter bunnies? To find out what my group of girls at church knew, I created an Easter crossword puzzle based on the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The purpose of these two crosswords is to practice, review, and study the true story of Easter. Both feature 25 clues with corresponding Bible references where the answers can be found. The clues are: Judas, darkness, angel, feet, thirty, Peter, Barabbas, two, Jews, Joseph, tomb, stone, Mary Magdalene, thorns, purple, Thomas, resurrection, bread, blood, Gethsemane, three, crucify, Simon, Golgotha and risen. One crossword includes a word bank which makes it easier to solve while the more challenging one does not. Even though the same 25 clues are used for each crossword, each grid is laid out in a different way; so, you have two distinct puzzles. Here are some ways you might use these puzzles with your children:
  • $2.75
    Use as a review or as an introduction to the true Biblical Easter story.
  • Work in groups to complete the crossword, using the Bible references to look up the verses.
  • Use the puzzle with the word bank as a review; then hand out the second puzzle to solve.

Thankful for this holiday and for the grace of Jesus Christ.
Happy Easter!