Large domino cards can be used to help students learn how to generate the two addition and subtraction stories for a pair of numbers. The teacher can use the cards with a small group or with the whole class. The cards can also be used in a center. Students select a card and write the 4 addition and subtraction problems on paper or a chalkboard or they can simply "chant" the addition and subtraction problems.

The teacher can easily demonstrate the commutative property of addition by flipping the card around. Students learn quickly that 1 + 4 is the same as 4+1. If you fold the card in half, it is easy to demonstrate the subtraction problems that can be generated. Show the whole card. Say, "5 altogether take away 1 ( fold 1 star back) equals 4." Start with the whole card again. Say, " 5 altogether take away 4 (fold 4 stars back) equals 1.

1 + 4 = 5     5 - 1 = 4

4 + 1 = 5     5 - 4 = 1

Use the dominoes to help students quickly identify sums. Flash a star domino to the class. Students must quickly determine how many stars were on the card. Ask to students to share how they knew how many there were so quickly. You should hear responses like, " I saw a 4 and a 1. I knew 4 and 1 more is 5." " I saw 3 and 3. It's a double. 3 plus 3 equals 6."

Students can sort the cards to the appropriate number family to help reinforce the partners.

Download the star dominoes for number families 5 through 10 in PDF file