In Addition and Subtraction, Games and warm-ups, Number and Algebra, Patterns

Learning Objective:
Add single digit numbers and subitise domino dot patterns.

Intended Outcome:
Accurate and fluent single digit addition.


  • Dominoes (a standard ‘double six’ set; a ‘double nine’ set can also be used)
  • Twelve-sided die (or digit cards to 12 for a standard domino set). If using a ‘double nine’ set of dominoes, a twenty-sided die or digit cards to 18 will be needed.

A ‘double six’ domino set is where the maximum number shown on one half of the domino is six, and the total maximum number on the domino is twelve. A ‘double nine’ domino set is where the maximum number shown on half of the domino is nine, and the total maximum number on the domino is 18.

Game Objective:
To win bingo by ‘dropping’ all your dominoes.


For this game, students should be organised into small groups, with each group playing a separate game. One student in each group is selected to be the ‘caller’.

  1. Share the dominoes amongst all the players in each group, except for the caller.
  2. All players start with their dominoes standing on their long edge.
  3. The caller rolls the die or picks up a digit card and calls the number. If using a ‘double-nine’ set and a twenty-sided die, re-roll if the numbers 19 or 20 are rolled.
  4. Players who get the called number from adding all the dots on one of their dominoes can drop that domino tile face down. If they have more than one domino that show the called number, they must only ‘drop’ one.


  • You may like to get students to record their additions as they go.
  • Double blank tiles can be removed or counted as a ‘wild card’ which can be dropped on any given round.
  • To develop fluency, keep the calls quick.
  • Students can ‘help’ others with the addition, but only if they whisper answers – if the ‘caller’ hears them they must stand one of their dominoes back up. This helps the students who are slower in adding, as well as aiding the students who know the answers to control their urge to call out. It also encourages collaboration in a competitive game, and helps keep a quieter classroom. You may even decide to play the game in pairs.

To increase the difficulty, the game can also be played by multiplying the dots on the domino tiles. For this you need a set of factor cards from 0–36 (or 81) for the caller.

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