The Not-So-Montessori Memorization Game


A few weeks ago, Hoss and Bug were playing dominoes at the dining room table. Well, they were trying. My dear children had NO idea about the rule of the 'running domino', and had some kind of board set up that looked akin to a 12-legged spider. I sat down to play with them, and explain the rules. When we finished, they were going to start another game when an instant burst of inspiration hit me. It had to have been from the Lord, because it's been loved for three weeks now.

Enter: The Domino Game

Invite a friend (or brother, or sister) to the table with the dominoes. Line them up in two equal rows, so every domino will get used before the end of the 'game'.

Choose two dominoes (similar to a matching/memory game). If they match, keep them. If they do NOT match, flip them back over and the turn goes to the next player.

IF they matched, as in, having two sides with the same amounts, put the matching sides together. The amount on the OTHER side are your numerals for your equation. 

For example. with the above dominoes, Bug chose them. She slid the 6's together, and, since  she is working on memorization of addition, her equation became 7 + 1. The next step is to record them in your binder/notebook/graph paper (or whatever you are using).

Last, but certainly not least, use a control of error (in this case, the addition chart #3 - finger chart - for Bug, and the multiplication memorization chart/Table of Pythagoras chart for Hoss) to check your work. 

If you read this post, you'll know that this work was so exciting to me. Not because it's ingenius - I am sure someone (or many people) have done this before, but rather because Bug loves it, and will willingly choose it WITHOUT wanting me to be right beside her. In the weeks following the first game, she has done this many times with Hoss - sometimes daily - and loves it!

So, if you've got extra dominoes lying around somewhere, and kiddos that love to play with them, they might enjoy this game! It will work for 3 out of 4 operations (it's pretty obvious that it wouldn't work for division). 

I hope this comes in handy for you in your home(school)!


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