Early Mathematical Understandings
Counting-on is a key skill in developing students early mathematical understandings. To start at a given number and "count on" seems a simple concept, but many students struggle to understand that the initial number or quantity that remains constant and rather than counting on, they go back to the beginning and count each item in sequence.
Count on dominos provide a quick and easy visual reference to demonstrate the counting on process. Each card features a number in recognisable domino-dot patterns (for easy subitising) and a tab with an additional dot/dots to count on.
Begin with the tab folded behind and the domino dot array displayed for the students. Subitise or count the dots as required to determine the quantity in the group. Unfold the tab and "count on" the additional dot/dots.
This activity leads into early computation and can be transitioned from concrete materials and language to written language (5 count on 1 is 6; 5 and one more is 6) to number sentences 5 + 1 = 6).
Count-On Dominos can also be used to represent inverse operations and fact families by starting with the whole amount and "counting back" by folding back the tab (take away).
NB It is important to vary the orientation of the dominos once students are familiar with the concept so they understand that 1 + 5 is also 6.