Math Monday:: Domino Math!

Don’t faint, but I’m actually posting a Math Monday blog today!

I’ve picked up a few more readers, so I’ll explain…

I am a recovering mathphobe. I hated math growing up, panicked about it in school, felt stupid doing it for my whole life. I can’t really even remember simple addition problems, let alone memorize multiplication tables. In 4th grade, everyone got ice cream sundaes at school for remembering their times tables up to 12…and I hadn’t even cleared them past the 4’s. No ice cream for me. Not only was I humiliated (I had to go sit by myself outside while everyone ate their prize in the classroom), I really really wanted some hot fudge. I pretty much concluded I was an imbecile, end of story.

Then my daughter came along with the same issues with math, and I felt like obviously that meant everyone dealt with it but some people learned to do math better because they were smarter. And then my son was born and he started multiplying in his head by kindergarten. And I thought…wait a minute…some people actually have minds that get it! That don’t struggle like mine and Naturalists. I found out about dyscalculia and felt like I finally had some answers.

Then Naturalist and I discovered sacred geometry, which made math and numbers so much cooler. So much more right brain and visual spatial!

So we started up a Creative Math Club, and doing math our way. Using art, music, and anything else we could get our hands on to make math very experiential.

Serendipitymama (with her cool blog, here…) tweeted me (I’m childplay on twitter, come say hi!) to ask if I’ve done any math mondays while here in So. Cal. I said no, because I think of the creative math club back in Colorado as the main part of math mondays. Without them, I feel mathless. A form of worthless, but with math.

But it turns out, that’s not really true. We do math all the time! Especially because Sassy loooooves dominoes. She carries around her own bag of them everywhere we go! So, in my first math monday video ever to debut here on Child’s Play, I bring you video documentation of what math looks like with Sassy and I! It involves being by a pool, singing in an opera voice, using watercolors, and a shout out to all the ‘rapping birds’.

The great thing about dominoes is that it’s so easily transformed into math games for older kids, simply by changing the operation. Instead of adding, you can multiply the numbers, divide, or subtract. And if you have creative kids (which I’m betting you do, because you’re reading this blog and we’re all about creativity over in this part of the blogosphere!) then they can pretty much come up with their own games with nothing more than some dominoes and some pens and paper!

In case you need some help, here are some links:

Domino Math Book (grades 1-4) that we enjoy!

Domino Math Book (grades 2-6) that we also enjoy!

Fun (free) domino games with domino math mats.

20 Responses

  1. Yeahy!!! I’ve missed Math Monday! ;D

  2. LOOOOOOVE the movie too!! ;D What a neat idea!! ;D I’m going to try that with my too tomorrow! ;D Yeahy!! ;D

  3. THANK YOU for posting this! I read the symptoms and that is so ME! I’ve always joked that I had no affinity for number and in addition, I am completely uncoordinated (and have most of the other symptoms listed). I was a drummer because I couldn’t read notes. I cannot balance a checkbook to save my life–any sort of financial planning and things like stocks and bonds confuse me to no end. At last, an explanation!!!!
    I will read more about sacred geometry and your other posts.
    Thanks again!

    • Amy, I cried when I read through that list for the first time. It’s like, everything that made me frustrated and feel so stupid all fit under one umbrella, and there was another reason other than, “I am so lame” for it.

      Piano was non negotiable in my house growing up…9 years of it. I can’t play a song, read a note, nothing. 9 years!!!!

      When we get together one of these days, we can compare notes of our charming ‘quirks’!!!

      I blogged about it here:

      Sacred geometry makes math beautiful šŸ™‚

  4. This is perfect for my visual learning five year old. I am off to the archives for some more inspiration.

    Thank you!

  5. awesome! love it!

  6. I love this! Thanks for sharing your Math Monday in action. It is great to see you in action…I will definitely be using this idea with my son.

    P.S. Where did you get that paint set? It’s awesome sauce!

  7. Ohhhh, I miss our live math clubs…..We have yet to make it to one since you left…..But it made me smile to see you in action again! šŸ™‚

    • I miss you guys SOOOO much! Math just isn’t the same!

      • Well, we’ll be hitting the road mid May hopefully! We’ll catch up with you somewhere and have RV (or pool!) math club šŸ™‚ Though, it may be a while, we’re heading east first…..

  8. i love this! and i’ve missed math mondays because they remind me to bring more creativity to our math. we still use the 0-99 charts you linked to back in your gumdrop math post. and i too was going to ask about the watercolors, but i see the answer in a comment above!

    my son actually ran from the other room to see what i was watching – i’m definitely digging the dominos out of the cabinet!

  9. Recovering Math Hater here, as well…

    Actually, still not a fan.

    I share in your elementary school trauma! I see your ‘ice cream treat’, and I raise you ‘teacher called me stupid’. Yes, God love the early 90s. She did.

    So, it was completely shocking for me to realize that my son actually loves to do math. Thank goodness for husbands that also dig the stuff!! I will pass these links onto him!! Thanks!!

    • I never got the word ‘stupid’, but I did get, “but this is so easy!” or, “you should be able to do this by now…” all. the. time. !!!

  10. I realised today with my 10 year old that you can turn a domino vertically and make a fraction out of it….!! Taa daaaah!! ;D

  11. Hey Tiffany and wonderful family!!! We miss you so much. We love doing math with you and love the domino video!!! So totally wonderful. It will get me thinking. We also just love the Vedic math books (well, I read them for bedtime to myself – the kids don’t šŸ˜‰ ) Math club is not the same without you, but we are trying…looking forward to warmer weather, as math outside is soooo fun. All the comments about insensitive math comments make me very sad and mad! Let’s change the world…just a little!

  12. What type of dominoes would you recommend? And how many would you need to do multiplication and division? I see sets sold in quantities of 28, 56, 168. Loving this idea! I’m doing it today with my daughter! šŸ™‚

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