Dot the Dog-Making Ten with Domino Patterns

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Students will be able to combine domino dot groups to create groups of 10.

Big Idea

What better way to learn to subitize the number 10 than with the spots on Dalmatians!! This fun, interactive lesson helps students master this important concept.


10 minutes

For this portion of the lesson, you will need the Dot the Dalmation book.  The book can be printed on a colored printer.  I laminated the pages for durability and bind the pages with a binding comb.  You will also need an erasable marker to use on the laminated pages to make the book interactive.

I gather the students around my big chair and I ask them if they know what a Dalmatian is.  They respond that it is a “fire dog”.  I ask them, What do you notice about the fur of a Dalmatian.  That’s right.  They have spots or dots on them.  The story that we are going to be reading is called Dot, the Dalmatian.  I think those spots that we find on Dalmatians are going to be very important in our story today.  Let’s read our book to find out more.

I begin reading the story to the students.

Page 1: Hi!  My name is Dot and I am a Dalmatian.  All of my friends have dots.  Every year we have the Dalmatian Games.  Every Dalmatian partners with another Dalmatian.  To be partners, the dots on the Dalmatian must equal ten.  

Page 2:  This is David.  Which Dalmatian should be his partner?  I invite a student to come up and figure out which Dalmatian should go with David.  I help the student by showing her how to count the spots on David and then the spots on the other two Dalmatians to figure out which one equals 10.  After the student is done, the class checks the work and then we say the number sentence together, 5 and 5 is 10.

Page 3-4: Continue as above.

Page 5:  Wait!!!  I can be Dennis’ partner!!  (The students start to laugh because this is a familiar recurring character, Greedy Gordy.

Page 6:  Sorry Gordy…no pigs allowed!  Can I be his partner?  We discuss whether this dog can be the partner for Dennis.

We now move over to the SMARTBoard to continue our lesson. 

Direct Instruction

15 minutes

For this portion of the lesson, I use the Domino Dots to make 10 SmartBoard file.  If you have a different type of interactive whiteboard, you can still use this lesson by opening the file in Smart Notebook Express.  There is also a PDF you can use to recreate this part of the lesson.

I gather my students in front of the SMARTBoard.  I have cards with each student's name on.  These cards are used for selecting who will come up to the SMARTBoard.

I open the first slide (SMARTBoard Slide 1) with the lesson objective written in "student friendly" terms.  There is a content objective and a language objective to help focus on vocabulary expansion for my English Learners (ELs) to be congruent with SIOP instructional techniques. I read these objectives aloud for my students.

Content Objective

I can add two groups using a plus and equal sign.

Language Objective

I can tell a friend how to read an addition sentence.

Page 2:  I'm Dot the Dalmatian.  My friends and I want to help you practice making groups of ten.  Every dog needs to be partnered with another dog to make 10.  Can you help us match up the dogs?

Page 3:   Move the correct dog into the square.  Write the number sentence.  I invite a student to come up and move the correct dog into the square.  Another student comes up and writes the number sentence.  

Page 4-6:  Continue as above.

Page 7:  We now do Turn and Talk.  Turn and Talk allows all of my students the opportunity to practice their academic language.    Every student in my class is assigned a Turn and Talk Partner.  They will practice their academic vocabulary with this student.  The students hold hands with their partners and raise them up in the air so I can tell that everyone is with another student.  I pose the question to the students, How many dots does my partner Dalmatian have to have to make ten?

I give the students time to talk. They come up with the answer quickly.  I call a student to share with the class.  The student states that you would need a dog with no spots to make ten.  I ask the student, How would we say “no spots” as a number?  The student thinks for a bit and comes up with “zero”.  Right!  There are ten spots on this dog.  We need a dog that has zero spots on it to make ten because ten and zero is ten.

We now move back to our seats for guided practice.  

Guided Instruction

10 minutes

For this lesson, you will need Domino Dot Pattern Student Cards.  You will need one card for each student.   I print out two sets of the cards, laminate them and cut them apart. 

I gather the students in a circle and tell them, You are going to be making "ten".  Each of you will be getting a card with a domino dot pattern.  Your job is to move around the room and find the person who has the card that goes with your to make then.  When you find your partner, return to the circle.

I distribute the cards and the students start to move about the room. See video.  Some students immediately figure out what number they need to find and other students need to count on with each card that comes to then.

When the students have all found their partners, I focus their attention again.  We go around the circle and each group of students says the number sentence.  When they are done, I have the students exchange their number with  someone they were not partnered with and the students search for a new partner and we continue as before.

When we are done, I collect the cards and we move into independent practice.

Independent Practice and Informal Assessment

10 minutes

For this part of the lesson, you will need Dalmation Number Bonds with Dots.  I distribute the activity sheet to my students and have them write their name at the top of the page.

I tell the students, You are going to practice making ten with domino dot patterns.  We are going to do some number bonds.  When we do a number bond, we find two numbers that bond together to make another number. 

Today we will be making the number ten.  You need to cut out the dot patterns at the bottom of the page.  You will then look at the dot pattern that is part of the number bond.  You will need to find which dot pattern completes the bond and put it in the empty spaces.  Continue to match up the number bonds until you have completed all the bonds.  Raise your hand and I will check your work, they you can glue them down.

The students begin working and I circulate around the room to check their work.  As the students are done, I randomly ask students to share their number bonds with me before putting the worksheet in their mailboxes.